• 77°

Pair charged with drug possession after drugs found in car they claimed to test drive

SALISBURY — A man and woman were charged with drug possession after drugs were found in a vehicle they claimed to be test-driving, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said a new K-9 was instrumental in the arrests.

Deputies were dispatched to the area of Peeler Road on Tuesday after a report of illegal drug activity.

Lt. Randy St. Clair and other deputies stopped a vehicle on Webb Road, just off Old Concord Road.

The blue Honda with tinted windows had a license plate that was registered to a Nissan. The driver of the Honda was identified as Daniel Lee Walker, 36, of the 3200 block of Morgan Road, Gold Hill.

Walker said initially that he was test-driving the Honda.

Misty Dawn Clonch, 31, of the 3000 block of Leonard Road, was a passenger in the car.

While deputies were trying to identify the registered owner of the Honda, Sgt. Justin Nelson arrived with his K-9 partner, Rex.

Rex sniffed the vehicle’s exterior and gave a positive indication of drugs in the vehicle. Deputies asked Clonch to get out of the vehicle and conducted a pat-down search.

Walker was removed from the vehicle, and deputies quickly noticed a handgun lying on the car seat under his leg.

After Walker and Clonch were secured, deputies searched the vehicle. They found a glass pipe commonly used to smoke narcotics beside the passenger seat and two small, partially smoked marijuana cigarettes in the ashtray, authorities said.

They also found a clear glass cylinder, about 2 inches tall, containing a crystal-like substance inside the passenger door.

Behind the passenger seat, they found a dark-colored cinch bag that contained a large amount of marijuana, several sets of digital scales, a second handgun that had been disassembled, and a small black bag that contained several individual baggies, authorities said.

Deputies charged Walker with carrying a concealed weapon; possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; simple possession of a controlled substance; maintaining a vehicle to store a controlled substance; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Walker was issued a $50,000 secured bond and placed in the Rowan County Detention Center.

Clonch was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was given a $1,500 secured bond and placed in the Rowan County Detention Center.

The Sheriff’s Office purchased K-9 Rex earlier this year with money from donations by Rowan County residents after the unexpected death of K-9 Ike in August 2017.

Sheriff Kevin Auten said he is again thankful to the people who made donations toward the purchase of Rex.

The arrests are just one of several recent incidents in which Rex has been instrumental in assisting the Sheriff’s Office, he said.

“The funds donated by Rowan County citizens have been spent wisely for a very hardworking K-9 that will be with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office for years to come,” Auten said.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.



N.C. lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots


Rowan Public Library joins initiative to help people with digital connectivity


Mocksville to dissolve police department


Blotter: May 5


Salisbury’s McElroy named top city, county communications professional in state


Locals condemn use of force during 2019 traffic stop of Georgia woman


Back and better than ever: Cannon Ballers kick off inaugural season in Atrium Health Ballpark


NC police reform package approved by Senate committee


Rowan County Health Department receives $5,000 grant to fund prenatal oral health program


City outlines use of federal HUD funds, approves NCDOT project to create U-turn bulb near Morlan Park Road


Salisbury VA staff make the day for veterans with visitation parade


Minor League baseball: Wood Ducks top Cannon Ballers in season opener


NC Senate eases caps on income, grants for K-12 scholarships


Biden aims to vaccinate 70% of American adults by July 4


Cheerwine now accepting entries for festival’s T-shirt design contest


North Carolina reports fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 positives


Post accepting submissions for Mother’s Day photos, stories


Perkins Cafeteria plans for July opening, looks to provide ‘wholesome, quality meals’


Commissioners finalize grant application for Woodleaf Community Park


Landis board gets first look at budget that decreases town’s residential electric rates


City to discuss two traffic-related measures, hold public hearing for use of federal funds


Summer Fun: In-person camps are back this year

High School

High school baseball: South’s Deal will play at Methodist


Vaccinations not counted in state data improve Rowan’s numbers