Sept. 2, 2013. The Avery County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina Highway Patrol and other local law enforcement agencies participated in the North Carolina Governors Highway Safety Program’s Labor Holiday “Booze It and Lose It” campaign.
The Avery County Sheriff’s Office made two DWI arrests during the campaign and issued numerous other traffic citations. On the evening of Aug. 30, the Sheriff’s Office, the Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies from North Carolina joined with law enforcement agencies from Tennessee in a “Hands Across the Border” Project. Officers from North Carolina and Tennessee held a check point at the North Carolina/Tennessee border just west of Elk Park.
On Aug. 26. officers with the Avery County Sheriff’s Office arrested 24-year-old Jesse Stamey of Elk Park. Officers went to Stamey’s residence to serve a civil paper. While at the residence Officers found evidence of a meth lab. After a search warrant was issued and served at the residence, officers located numerous precursor chemicals. Stamey was charged with Possession of Precursor Chemicals and was held at the Avery County Jail.
On Aug. 27, officers with the Avery County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into a report of a runaway juvenile from Yancey County being at the residence of 20-year-old John Porter in Avery County. Porter was staying at a home on Hwy. 19 E. The juvenile was located and returned to her home in Yancey County. After returning home the juvenile disclosed sexual activity with Porter. Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office have charged Porter with Statutory Rape and Porter is in the Avery County Jail under a $100,000.00 bond.
During the Hands Across the Border event on the evening of Aug. 30, officers encountered 47-year-old Lester Eugene Harmon of Elk River Road. Officers found that Harmon had an outstanding warrant from Mitchell County for Larceny. Harmon was arrested on the outstanding warrant. Later Officers went to Harmon’s residence attempting to locate another wanted person and found evidence in the front yard consistent with a meth lab. After a search warrant was issued Investigators located two labs at the residence. Harmon was then charged with Possession of Precursor Chemicals, Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession with intent to distribute. Harmon is in the Avery County Jail under a $36,000.00 bond.