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Two Charlotte residents face drug charges; one wanted on ICE warrant

Charged

Franklin Rodriguez Alfaro

Jonathan Valentin Zepeda

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Rowan County authorities say two Charlotte men were charged with drug offenses after a weekend traffic stop.

One of the men, a 16-year-old, was wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Deputy C.K. Youngo stopped a 2018 gray Mazda about 11 p.m. Saturday while patrolling in the Webb Road area after he noticed the car had no lights near the license plate, which was a temporary paper tag.

When the passenger, later identified as Franklin Rodriguez Alfaro, rolled down the window, the officer noted a large cloud of smoke and smelled marijuana. Alfaro, 16, and the driver, Jonathan Valentin Zepeda, both told the deputy they don’t speak English.

Neither man had a driver’s license, the arrest report said.

The deputy had both men step out of the car and contacted a trooper from the N.C. Highway Patrol for assistance. He then searched the vehicle.

Landis Police Officer A.J. Bizzio, who speaks fluent Spanish, was called to the scene to act as an interpreter.

Inside the vehicle, the deputy found a Ruger P85 semi-automatic handgun under the passenger’s seat, marijuana residue and pieces of tobacco on the floorboard in the back area of the car.

Additionally, the officer found clear bags, empty cigarillo wrappers, a marijuana grinder with residue on it, a measuring scale, marijuana crumbs on the driver’s side, and an Altoid tin with marijuana cigarettes inside.

Zepeda, 20, of the 3300 block of Brentwood Drive, Charlotte, was charged with one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and three counts misdemeanor failure to appear, which stemmed from an arrest for resisting arrest, communicating threats, and simple assault in May in Mecklenburg County.

He remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $3,200 secured bond.

Alfaro, 16, of the 6400 block of Four Seasons Lane, Apartment 107, Charlotte, was charged with misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

He remains in the Rowan County jail under a $3,000 secured bond.

When jail officials checked Alfaro’s record, they determined that ICE had an outstanding warrant for him to be detained for removal.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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