Convicted felon faces drug charges following traffic stop

Published 10:54 am Friday, April 15, 2016

By Shavonne Walker

Authorities say a convicted felon faces marijuana possession charges following an early morning traffic stop this week.

A Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputy on routine patrol was on Statesville Boulevard Thursday just after midnight when the officer saw a 2001 Ford Escort traveling west with an expired registration.

The deputy stopped the vehicle on Catawba Drive and the driver, Christopher Michael Rhodes Jr., 23, who was the only person in the car. Upon approaching the vehicle, the deputy could smell marijuana that had not been burned coming from the passenger compartment.

The deputy searched the vehicle and found a lock box in the right back passenger seat that had three bags of marijuana and several bags used to package marijuana inside.

Rhodes, of the 300 block of Catawba Drive, was charged with felony possession of marijuana, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

The officer found the marijuana and $1,001 in cash in the glove box. Another bag of marijuana was found under the driver’s seat. A .32 caliber was located in the trunk, along with another bag of marijuana. Rhodes also had $110 in cash on him.

Rhodes remains in the Rowan County jail under a $25,000 secured bond.

Rhodes has a 2015 conviction in Rowan County Superior Court for felony possession of marijuana.  He also has two pending probation violations in Rowan County Superior Court.

The possession of firearm by felon charge will be referred to federal prosecutors for review, officials said.