Police: Traffic stop yields marijuana charge

Published 5:03 pm Monday, March 9, 2020

By Shavonne Potts


SALISBURY — A Salisbury man faces felony marijuana charges after the driver of the vehicle he was riding in was stopped for a traffic violation.

An officer smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and discovered a bag of the drug in the car, according to Salisbury police spokesman Lee Walker.

An officer stopped an older model Buick on Friday night at the intersection of West Horah and Institute streets when the driver continued through a stop sign. There were three people in the vehicle. Henry Lee Burch III was a back seat passenger.

Burch, 36, of S. Fulton Street, was charged with felony possession intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a controlled substance schedule VI and felony possession of a controlled substance schedule VI.

The officer asked if there was marijuana inside the car and the occupants said they’d consumed it earlier, Walker said. The officer noted in his report that Burch appeared nervous and was in the back seat fidgeting. The officer asked all three people to step out of the vehicle, Walker said.

The officer patted each person down and noticed a strong odor of marijuana on Burch. Upon searching the car, the officer found an opened container of beer and liquor and a large plastic bag of marijuana under the driver’s seat that totaled 115 grams and 4 ounces. There was also a Taurus Brasil 44 Special handgun located in a bag in the floorboard of the passenger area.

Burch admitted the marijuana was his but denied the handgun belonged to him, Walker said. Burch also had an outstanding warrant for giving fictitious information to an officer that was related to an Aug. 14, 2019 incident.

He was issued a $10,000 secured bond for the marijuana-related offenses and an additional $1,000 for the outstanding warrant. Burch has since been released from the Rowan County Detention Center.

The passenger, Orephus Kollie, 21, also had an outstanding warrant for fictitious information to an officer. The driver was not charged in this incident.