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Foot chase nets drugs and suspects

The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.  All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Matthew Lee Owens

Matthew Lee Owens

Murphy, NC— Matthew Lee Owens, a 27 year old male who reported a Murphy, North Carolina address and Ashley Trinidad Rodriguez, a 23 year old female who reported a Murphy, North Carolina address were arrested for controlled substance violations.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division was conducting an investigation into individuals who were passing forged one and ten dollar bills to local businesses. Detective Harold Mashburn stopped a vehicle occupied by Owens and Rodriguez so that he could question Owens. The investigatory stop was made on Andrews Road near a banking establishment. During the investigatory stop, Det. Mashburn was provided information from a concerned citizen that Owens and Rodriguez were in possession of controlled substances. Owens fled on foot from the scene once a sizeable amount of marijuana packaged in a manner for resale was discovered.

Several officers from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, along with the United States Forest Service and Murphy Police Department, assisted in the chase which was contained to a wooded area between Andrews Road and Pleasant Valley Road. Owens and Rodriguez were later apprehended on Bulldog Drive by Sheriff Lovin and Deputy Matthews.

Ashley Trinidad Rodriquez

Ashley Trinidad Rodriquez

Sheriff Keith Lovin commented “My office is committed to ensuring the safety of the community. It is great to have the community and fellow law enforcement agencies get involved in helping locate individuals that are skirting justice. It is through this cooperative effort today that I can proudly say that at no time was the public in any significant danger and this potentially dangerous situation culminated in a quick arrest and large quantity of drugs is off the street.”

Both Rodriguez and Owens were booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center on secure bonds pending a May 2014 Cherokee County District Court Date.

Matthew Lee Owens was previously arrested and convicted for robbing the Big D Store in the Peachtree Community of Cherokee County in 2009.

The investigation into individuals who are passing forged one and ten dollar bills is continuing. Anyone having information is asked to contact Det. Harold Mashburn at 828-837-2589 ext. 424.

Located across from new casino site in Murphy, NC

Located across from new casino site in Murphy, NC

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Posted in NC-Cherokee County, Regional News

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