Brothers with federal convictions charged with heroin

Published 10:57 am Friday, June 3, 2016

SPENCER — Authorities charged two brothers who already have federal convictions with heroin possession following multiple undercover drug purchases. Officials had to use dynamite to blow the door off to gain access into the Spencer home.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the SBI Southern Piedmont District, Spencer Police and the Salisbury Police departments, served a search warrant at 904-B Third St. on Friday.

During the past two months, the Sheriff’s Office and the SBI had been making purchases of heroin from the bothers’ residence. Officials say the brothers — Gerald Lamont Steele, 39, and David Lewis Crockett Jr., 33, had been convicted on federal drug charges in the Western District of North Carolina in 2003.

Crockett was released from federal prison in 2010 and Steele was released from federal prison in September 2014, and is on supervised release, according to a law enforcement statement.

During the course of the investigation, detectives learned the home had a security system that had been fortified to hinder law enforcement or others from making entry into the house. Since the door was reinforced, the Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SRT) was deployed and used dynamite to make entry into the home.

Steele left the residence during the early morning hours on Friday, was arrested in Spencer and the search warrant was executed at the residence. Crockett was arrested in Spencer later in the morning. During the search, investigators discovered drug paraphernalia, including scales and a loaded .380 caliber handgun.

In 2000, Steele was convicted of a felony drug offense in Rowan County Superior Court. Since Steele has federal and state convictions, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Steele was charged with 14 total counts: one count of possession of firearm by felon, five counts of conspiracy to sell heroin, four counts of maintaining a dwelling to keep and sell controlled substances, and four counts of possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver heroin. He was issued a $500,000 bond.

Crockett was charged with 10 counts: five counts of conspiracy to sell heroin and five counts of possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver heroin. He was issued a $400,000 bond.

This matter will be referred to federal prosecutors for review.