Habitual felon convicted

Published 2:03 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

SALISBURY — Matthew Alan Yoder of China Grove was convicted in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court Tuesday on a host of drug charges.

Yoder admitted his status as a habitual felon and Judge Lori Hamilton sentenced him to a minimum of nine years and nine months and a maximum of 12 years, nine months in prison.

On May 21, 2016, officers with the Salisbury Police Department responded to a larceny in progress at Kohl’s department store. Officers were told that Yoder was removing security tags from shoes.

Officers detained Yoder as he tried to flee Kohl’s. They discovered shoes in his shorts, along with a glass smoking pipe, a bottle with four plastic bags containing a crystal-like substance, two bags with a white powdery substance, and straws.

Yoder admitted to removing the security tags from the shoes and using Xanax.

On Jan. 1, 2017, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputies served a warrant on Yoder at his residence. Deputies discovered a clear plastic bag in a toilet inside his house, and the N.C. Crime Lab confirmed that it contained methamphetamine.

On Aug. 4, sheriff’s detectives were told that Yoder was cooking methamphetamine in an outbuilding behind his home.

Detectives served a search warrant at Yoder’s home on Aug. 16 and found meth precursors and multiple one-pot meth labs in the outbuilding and a burn pit in the backyard. The Crime Lab analyzed the evidence to confirm it was methamphetamine.

On Tuesday, Yoder was convicted of felony possession of a Schedule II controlled substance; felony larceny by anti-inventory device; felony manufacturing meth; felony maintaining a dwelling for trafficking in controlled substances; felony possession with intent to manufacture meth precursor; felony conspiracy to manufacture meth; felony possession of meth; and other misdemeanor offenses.

Yoder has previous convictions for felony possession of marijuana and felony forgery of an instrument, among other convictions.

Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said she appreciated the joint effort on behalf of Assistant District Attorney Paxton Butler, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, and the Salisbury Police Department in removing a repeat offender from the community.