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One convicted as habitual felon; another for fraud

Donnie Donnell Fleming of Salisbury was convicted last week in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of three counts of felony possession with intent to sell/deliver a schedule II controlled substance and felony breaking and/or entering.

Fleming admitted to his status as a habitual felon and was sentenced to a minimum of 128 months (10.66 years) and a maximum of 166 months (13.83 years) in prison by Judge Anna Mills Wagoner.

On May 4, 5 and 6, Fleming sold crack cocaine in exchange for money to an undercover informant working with the Salisbury Police Department.

On May 5, officers with the Salisbury Police Department responded to North Main Street in reference to an alarm call at a business called The PC Doctor. Officers noticed a window had been shattered, and it appeared a concrete block had been used to break the window.

Three laptop computers had been stolen from inside the business, along with a cash box and checks. Officers reviewed the video surveillance from the business and observed a black male break the window and enter the building. The owners immediately recognized the black male as Fleming because Fleming used to work for them.

Fleming had previously been convicted of felony possession with intent to sell/deliver cocaine, felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance, among other convictions.

Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook expressed appreciation in a news release for the work of Assistant District Attorney Barrett Poppler and Salisbury Police Department “in removing another repeat offender from our community.”

Man convicted of fraud

Following a jury trial, Thornell Chris Bennett of Mount Pleasant was convicted last week in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of two counts of felony insurance fraud and three counts of felony obtaining property by false pretenses.

Judge Wagoner sentenced Bennett to a minimum of seven months to a maximum of 18 months, suspended, and Bennett was placed on supervised probation for 24 months. Bennett was ordered to comply with the conditions of probation, along with paying restitution in the amount of $1,500, plus additional court costs.

On Jan. 10, 2011, Bennett was involved in an automobile accident while driving a vehicle insured by Traveler’s Insurance. On Jan. 20, 2011, Bennett was involved in another automobile accident while driving a vehicle insured by Nationwide.

Bennett submitted a fraudulent medical invoice to obtain insurance policy benefits by altering an authentic medical invoice he received for medical treatment that occurred prior to the automobile accidents. Bennett defrauded both insurance companies into paying him money based on the fraudulent and altered medical invoice.

Cook stated that she appreciated the dedication of Roger N. Wiles, a financial crimes prosecutor with the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys, in preparing the case for trial.

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