Detention center inmated charged with possessing toothbrush filed into shank

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 29, 2024

SALISBURY — A man has been charged after deputies said that they discovered a toothbrush filed into a shank in his cell on Sunday.

Detention staff began an investigation on Sunday after they were made aware that an inmate at the Rowan County Detention Center possibly had a shank in his possession, said Captain Mark McDaniel, public information officer for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. The staff then reportedly removed the inmate, identified as 34-year-old John Smith McCombs, from his cell in order to search it.

During the search, the staff discovered a toothbrush that had been filed into a point on one end to make it a shank, said McDaniel. The weapon was reportedly confiscated.

McCombs was in jail after being arrested on Aug. 24, 2023 and charged with two counts of felony selling a schedule II controlled substance, two counts of felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to sell and deliver and two counts of felony possession of a firearm by a felon, according to detention center records. On Sunday, he received an additional charge of felony possession of a weapon by an inmate.

McCombs was taken before a magistrate and received no bond due to the Pretrial Integrity Act.