Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

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Final co-defendant in Precision Sports, LLC break-in pleads guilty

Demareo Whitley

LENOIR, NC (September 15, 2017)…The third and final co-defendant from a break-in at a southern Caldwell County business pleaded guilty to the charges against him on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, and will spend at least six years in prison.

Demareo Whitley, 29, of Charlotte, pleaded guilty to possession of stolen firearms and also admitted to his status as a habitual felon during Caldwell County Superior Court. He was sentenced to an active prison term of six to nine years by the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County.

Whitley will serve his prison time in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

The defendant’s admission to habitual felon status enhanced the prison sentence he was given by Judge Kuehnert. Whitley has prior felony convictions in Mecklenburg County for conspiracy to commit common law robbery, breaking/entering and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Officers with Hickory Police Department responded to Precision Sports, LLC in southern Caldwell County around 4 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2015, for a security alarm check. Surveillance videos from the business showed a break-in at the business with numerous guns stolen.

A tip from Charlotte led to an examination of cellular communications between Whitley and two other individuals by HPD Forensic Analyst Matt Rogers. Rogers’ analysis led to the recovery of some of the guns, identified by the business owners as those stolen.

Demarco Lamont McDowell and Deveion Eugene Johnson also pleaded guilty to their involvement in the crimes in March 2017 and currently are serving their prison sentences.

Jeff Pruett and John Patterson led the investigation for Hickory Police Department with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant District Attorney Nancy Lee prosecuted the case for the State.


Demarco Lamont McDowell

LENOIR, NC (March 10, 2017)…Demarco Lamont McDowell, 30, of Charlotte, pleaded guilty to felony breaking and entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods, along with other related felonies, during Caldwell County Superior Court on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

The Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, sentenced McDowell to an active prison term of three to six years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

Officers with Hickory Police Department responded to Precision Sports, LLC in southern Caldwell County around 4 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2015, for a security alarm check. Surveillance videos from the business showed a break-in at the business with numerous guns stolen.

A tip from Charlotte led to an examination of cellular communications between McDowell and two other individuals by HPD Forensic Analyst Matt Rogers. Rogers’ analysis led to the recovery of some of the guns, identified by the business owners as those stolen.

Specifically, a photo showing guns on a bed was traced back to McDowell’s phone. Investigators seized bedding from the bedroom of the defendant that matched the bedding in the photo, and owners of Precision Sports identified some of the guns as those stolen during the break-in.

Jeff Pruett and John Patterson led the investigation for Hickory Police Department with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Nancy Lee prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.


Deveion Eugene Johnson

LENOIR, NC (March 8, 2017)…Deveion Eugene Johnson, 30, of Hickory, will spend at least three years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple criminal offenses during Caldwell County Superior Court on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

The Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, sentenced Johnson to an active prison term of three to six years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

Johnson pleaded guilty to felony breaking and entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods, along with other related felonies.

Officers with Hickory Police Department responded to Precision Sports, LLC in southern Caldwell County around 4 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2015, for a security alarm check. Surveillance videos from the business showed a break-in at the business with numerous guns stolen.

A tip from Charlotte led to an examination of cellular communications between Johnson and two other individuals by HPD Forensic Analyst Matt Rogers. Rogers’ analysis led to the recovery of some of the guns, identified by the business owners as those stolen.

A handgun from Precisions Sports was recovered from Johnson’s home.

Jeff Pruett and John Patterson led the investigation for Hickory Police Department with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Nancy Lee prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

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