Police K-9 helps capture two on federal, state probation found with drugs, guns

Published 12:12 pm Monday, August 22, 2016

SALISBURY — A Landis K-9 helped Rowan authorities capture two men on federal and state probation. Both men were arrested and charged with drug and weapons offenses following a traffic stop.

The stop occurred Saturday on N.C. 801 at Woodleaf Road after a Rowan County Sheriff’s deputy saw a vehicle drive past the stop sign at the intersection. The deputy initiated a traffic stop in the 7900 block of Woodleaf Road.

The two men, later identified as Eric Lamonte Fair, 28, who was driving, and Massia Alexander Wooden, 25, were moving around in the vehicle. Officials said in a statement the driver, Eric Fair, put the car in reverse.

Wooden was charged with possession of firearm by felon, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of cocaine, possession of Ecstasy, possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine, possession with intent to sell or deliver Ecstasy, possession of drug paraphernalia, simple possession of marijuana, carrying a concealed weapon, open container, and possession of a controlled substance in a prison/jail. He was issued a $100,000 bond.

Fair was charged with possession of a firearm by felon, carrying a concealed gun, resisting a public officer, and a stop sign violation. He was issued a $50,000 secured bond.

A deputy walked toward the driver’s window and smelled an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The deputy noted the smell was even more prominent when the window was rolled down. The deputy told the driver, Eric Fair, why he was being stopped. He told the deputy, “I’m just trying to get to the hospital, sir, because my baby’s mama is about to have a miscarriage.”

The deputy told both men he smelled marijuana. Once back up assistance arrived, the deputy asked both men to exit the vehicle. Both denied having any illegal substances, but the deputy could see Wooden eating a green leafy material. The officer ordered him to spit it out, but he took a sip of a drink and swallowed it, the statement said.

As he was being searched, Wooden apologized and said, “Man, I’m sorry. I was just scared and ate it.”

He did admit to the deputy he ate a small amount of marijuana. Fair continued to say he was trying to get to the hospital to see his “baby mama.”

During a search of the vehicle, the deputy found a .45 caliber handgun loaded with eight rounds of ammunition that was hidden under the driver’s seat. When the officer approached Fair about the gun, he took off running. The deputy lost sight of Fair and more assistance was brought to the scene.

Wooden, who remained at the scene, was searched and officers found several items hidden in shorts near his groin area: a .22 handgun loaded with five rounds of ammunition, 8 grams of cocaine, seven doses of Ecstasy, 3 grams of marijuana and an electronic scale.

A perimeter was set up and a Landis police officer and Landis K-9 tracked Fair in the area. He tossed all of his clothes except his boxer briefs. The clothes were recovered, authorities said.

The .22 handgun had been reported stolen in Rowan County.

Authorities told Wooden of his pending charges. He told them, “I’m on federal probation and just got released two months ago, so I’ll probably get 30 years.”

Wooden was asked if he had any other drugs or substances on him before being taken into the Rowan County jail and he told officials he did not. He was searched inside the jail, and officials found a folded one dollar bill with cocaine inside it hidden in his sock.

Fair has previous convictions in Rowan County Superior Court on Feb. 11, 2013, for possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, felony possession of cocaine, and possession of a controlled substance in a prison/jail.

Fair has two convictions in Rowan County Superior Court on May 2, 2014, for felony probation violation.  He has a conviction in Rowan County Superior Court on Aug. 5, 2015, for felony possession of cocaine.  Fair also has a conviction in Rowan County Superior Court on April 28, 2016, for identity theft. Fair is on supervised probation.

Wooden has a conviction in Rowan County Superior Court on Jan. 3, 2011, for felony possession of  cocaine. Wooden has a conviction in Rowan County Superior Court on Feb. 24, 2016, for speeding to elude law enforcement.

In January 2012, Wooden and another individual were arrested by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office after they robbed undercover officers during the purchase of a handgun. Previously, investigators purchased guns from Wooden, a convicted felon. Wooden was federally convicted in the Middle District of North Carolina for possession of a stolen firearm on May 23, 2013.  After his release from federal prison, he was arrested again in July 2015, for a federal supervised release violation. He was subsequently released on June 14, 2016, and is currently on federal supervised release.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office has already contacted federal authorities about pursuing prosecution of both defendants.