Weekend operation leads to numerous firearms, drug arrests

Published 8:47 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2023

A joint effort by area law enforcement over the weekend resulted in multiple arrests with charges ranging from felony drug possession to illegal weapons charges.

The Salisbury Police Department conducted the operation with assistance from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Highway Patrol and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Special Operations and Intelligence Unit.

Given the scope of what authorities described as a “crime prevention project,” numerous people likely encountered law enforcement vehicles conducting traffic stops around the city’s perimeter. The operation also used a highway patrol helicopter.

The project reportedly focused on high-crime areas of Salisbury. Authorities reportedly obtained that information from statistical data collected through the Rowan Regional Crime Information Center.

The following individuals were either criminally charged or have outstanding arrest warrants after completion of the project:

Jefaris Mikel Bennett, 28, faces felony charges for fleeing pursuit, having no operator’s license, resisting a public officer, and probation violation. He was placed under $70,000 bond.

Skylar Dwayne Hayes, 39, faces felony charges for possession of a schedule II controlled substance and fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle. He was placed under a $25,000 bond.

Ty’waun Hakeem Smith, 22, faces numerous charges for possession of schedule-II and schedule-VI controlled substances and felony possession of cocaine. Smith was also charged with resisting a public officer. His bond was set at $15,000.

Isaah Shalier Cauthen, 21, faces misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon. Cauthen’s bond was set at $3,000.

Tykier Malik Cauthen, 23, also faces misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon. His bond was also set at $3,000.

Marcellus Steele, age unknown, had outstanding warrants or felony possession of methamphetamine and intent to sell. Steele faces misdemeanor charges of resisting a public officer, possessing marijuana and carrying a concealed weapon.

James Christopher Davis, age unknown, was issued a written citation and criminally charged with misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon.

Bond information for Steele and Davis was not released.