Sheriff’s Office charge man, another sought following vehicle chase

Published 3:35 pm Thursday, June 6, 2019

GOLD HILL — One man is in custody and another is being sought by authorities after a traffic stop and subsequent vehicle chase. Officials said both men are confirmed gang members.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Albert Britford, 23, with felony possession of stolen goods; possession of a controlled substance Schedule VI; possession of drug paraphernalia; carrying a concealed gun; possession of a firearm by a felon; and resisting or obstructing an officer.

Warrants were issued for Juvonta Lafond, also 23, on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, speeding to elude arrest, and felony possession of a firearm by a felon.

Just before midnight June 1, a sheriff’s deputy stopped a car on U.S. 52 in Gold Hill for a minor traffic violation.

The driver of the vehicle did not have a driver’s license. The deputy said he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, and he saw a magazine for an assault rifle inside.

The passenger said he didn’t have identification.

The deputy called for another officer to assist in the investigation. Before the backup deputy arrived, the vehicle sped off, and the deputy pursued it.

Authorities said the suspect reached speeds in excess of 100 mph. The chase went into Stanly County and continued into Albemarle, where the vehicle was wrecked on Church Street.

Both suspects jumped from the car and ran into the woods. Additional officers from the Albemarle Police Department, Stanly County Sheriff’s Office and Rowan County Sheriff’s Office were called in, but the suspects were not located.

A search of the vehicle revealed an AR-15 rifle that had been stolen in Winston-Salem. A loaded handgun, a ski mask, gloves and marijuana were also found inside the vehicle.

Investigators determined that the deputy interrupted the suspects during some type of criminal activity.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Division joined the investigation and determined the suspects appeared to be from Winston-Salem. Through a forensic search of electronic devices found in the car and the deputy’s body-cam video, detectives identified the driver as Juvonta Lafond.

Lafond has a lengthy criminal history.

Rowan sheriff’s detectives contacted detectives from the Winston-Salem Police Department and identified the second suspect as Albert Britford.

Both Lafond and Britford were confirmed to be Blood gang members with lengthy criminal histories. Additionally, Britford was wanted by Winston-Salem police.

On Wednesday, Rowan County detectives determined that Britford was possibly at a residence at 614 Meadow Lane in Spencer. Rowan investigators, the Rowan County Criminal Enforcement Team, Winston-Salem police and Forsyth County Sheriff’s detectives attached to a U.S. Marshal’s Office task force conducted surveillance on the residence.

Investigators identified Britford when he walked outside. The residence was surrounded and as officers approached it, Britford and another man ran inside. Detectives made repeated commands for them to come out, and both eventually did.

While investigators were trying to make the arrest, they saw a handgun tucked between the seats of a car parked in front.

Britford was arrested on the outstanding Forsyth County warrant. Authorities searched him and found the keys to the car with the gun inside.

During a search of the Meadow Lane residence, investigators seized a loaded 9 mm handgun, as well as drug paraphernalia and 1 pound of marijuana.

Britford is being held in the Rowan County Detention Center under no bond on Forsyth and Rowan County charges.

Lafond is wanted by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and is believed to be in the Winston-Salem area.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lt. Chad Moose at 704-216-8687, Sgt. Rodney Mahaley at 704-216-8711 or CrimeStoppers at 866-639-5245.