• 57°

Accused heroin distributor arrested again on drug charges

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.com
ENOCHVILLE — Four days after posting a $300,000 bond, a 21-year-old accused of being a key distributor in an Enochville-based heroin ring was jailed again Monday on drug charges.
Rowan County deputy Jagger Naves arrested Joshua Branham, of Chris Drive, Monday afternoon on Cannon Farm Road.
Inside Branham’s green 1996 Honda Accord, Naves found balloons, wax paper, digital scales and seven tablets of Alprazolam, arrest warrants stated.
Branham was released Monday night after posting a $100,000 bond.
Branham was one of several charged Thursday in the county’s second largest heroin bust of the past year.
Along with Branham, authorities arrested 17-year-old Brandon Rumple, who they say ran a large heroin ring in Enochville.
Rumple and Branham each posted $300,000 bonds Friday.
According to arrest warrants, Naves, a member of the Sheriff’s Office Aggressive Criminal Enforcement team, pulled Branham over about 1:30 p.m. Warrants did not indicate the initial reason for the stop.
The 21-year-old was charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver narcotics, felony maintaining a dwelling for keeping and storing drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He and Rumple were charged with felony trafficking heroin, felony conspiracy to sell heroin and possession with intent to manufacture sell and deliver heroin Thursday following an investigation into the fast-growing heroin industry in the southern part of the county.
Early last week, investigators served a search warrant on Billy Joe Barnhardt Jr.’s home. Deputies charged Barnhardt with possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin. His wife, Lesa, was charged on citation with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Several days later, deputies and Concord Police raided Rumple’s apartment near Concord Mills.
More than 200 grams of heroin and a loaded handgun were seized during the raid, deputies said.
Authorities believe 17-year-old Rumple was the head of the heroin ring in Enochville, according to several deputies.
Branham is believed to be a Rumple’s primary distributor, authorities said.
According to arrest warrants, Branham’s cellphone was taken into evidence during Monday’s arrest.
Warrants said investigators believe Branham was using the phone to conduct drug deals.
Balloons, also found inside the car, are typically used for holding and storing drugs, search warrants have said.
Alprazolam, a generic name for Xanax, is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
Branham has a first court date scheduled for Wednesday on the most recent charges.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Natoli promoted to assistant county manager, will retain human resources director title

Education

Attendance restriction lifted for RSS graduation ceremonies

Business

Rowan Chamber of Commerce will host in-person Power in Partnership on Thursday

Business

Rowan EDC will undergo name change, alter board requirements with updates to bylaws

Nation/World

Israel strikes Gaza tunnels as truce efforts remain elusive

Nation/World

Supreme Court to take up major abortion rights challenge

Nation/World

Biden boosting world vaccine sharing commitment to 80M doses

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards