Neighborhood watch helps deputies make meth trafficking arrest

Published 3:00 am Saturday, March 7, 2020

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Over the past few months, China grove residents have been noticing increased traffic, excessive noise and even gunfire.

Sheriff Russell Thomas said he and deputies had been hearing about the suspicious activity from the residents there and began working to help alleviate the problem.

“We have been up there off and on,” Thomas said. “We’ve heard from some citizens in the past few months and we’ve been up there a few times. We set up a detail Tuesday night that was successful.”

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Deputies arrested William Bates, 44, of Troy, during the sting after discovering two bags containing about 8.5 grams of crystal meth, Thomas said. Deputies also found a “small amount” of marijuana inside the vehicle,” Thomas said.

Bates was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.

Deputies also made another misdemeanor arrest Tuesday during the detail when a man with an outstanding misdemeanor warrant attempted to elude law enforcement.

“People come in from other counties into these communities and the citizens talk about it,” Thomas said. “Our detail Tuesday night was very effective and we made some other very meaningful contacts. It goes to show how helpful a neighborhood watch can be. I appreciate the work of the deputies and the time made to work these cases.”­­