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‘Drug kingpin’ Rumple strikes plea deal in Rowan

Brandon Lee Rumple won’t serve any additional time after pleading guilty to a laundry list of Rowan County criminal charges.

Rumple, 20, pleaded guilty last week to charges in Cabarrus County, receiving 11 to 15 years in prison. He pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Rowan County to possession of a schedule one substance; possession of firearm by a felon; possession of a controlled substance on jail property; possession of a schedule four substance with intent to sell and deliver; possession of a schedule one controlled substance with intent to sell and deliver; possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting a public officer; altering, stealing or destroying criminal evidence and possession of a weapon by a prisoner.

Part of his plea deal was that his Rowan County time would run concurrently with the 11 to 15 years in Cabarrus. Any time served as a result of Wednesday’s plea deal will occur at the same time as time in Cabarrus County.

Assistant District Attorney Barrett Poplar described each charge — some of which date back multiple years — in detail. Poplar included dates, times and the exact chronology of each charge during the sentencing.

He went into great detail to describe an incident that occurred in April 2014. During the April incident, Rumple, called by authorities the “drug kingpin of Enochville,” tried to evade investigators who’d been following him as he traveled in a car allegedly driven by his then-pregnant girlfriend Tasha Simpson.

Poplar said an investigator drove at least 80 mph to catch up as Simpson and Rumple tried to evade law enforcement. The officer didn’t initially pull Rumple over for speeding, Poplar said, in order to see where the pair would drive.

During the chase, Poplar said, Rumple dumped a brown substance out of the passenger-side window. Simpson allegedly stopped the car in front of Rumple’s father’s house, where Rumple would toss a round, ball-size package of drugs to his father. His father would later admit to flushing the small package down the toilet.

The latest charge discussed Wednesday came this month, when Rumple was charged with possession of a weapon by a prisoner after he filed down a toothbrush into a shape that could be used a weapon.

“He’s obviously been busy the last couple of years,” Poplar said during the sentencing.

Rumple’s attorney, James Davis, took time to compliment both the district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s office for working on the case before making one last statement about his client.

“He’s young,” Davis said. “He has an 8 1/2-month-old daughter.”

Superior Court Judge Anna Mills Wagoner briskly moved to the sentencing, stopping only to comment briefly about Rumple’s criminal charges.

“Nothing seemed to get his attention before. I don’t know if anything will,” Wagoner said.

Davis declined to comment after sentencing ended in superior court.

Poplar said he was pleased with the plea deal and pointed to the fact that Rowan County Sheriff Office Chief Deputy David Ramsey stood up during the sentencing and said he was satisfied with the terms of Tuesday’s plea. During the sentencing, Ramsey said the sheriff’s office had received several community complaints about Rumple.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

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