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.
Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the September 9th , 2016 arrest of 32-year-old Jason Lewis Brown, of Murphy, North Carolina, 42-year-old Travis Leon Brendle of Farner, Tennessee, 77-year-old Lakes Brendle of Murphy, North Carolina, 39-year-old Joshua Howard and 31-year-old Stephanie Blue of Marble, North Carolina on charges stemming from a joint investigation with the United States Forest Service and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
On the afternoon of September 9th, 2016, investigators with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Forest Service, and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission conducted two search warrants in search of archeological relics that had been illegally taken from protected lands.
During the first search conducted at the Brendle residence in the Violet Community of Cherokee County, several artifacts and relics were located and seized. Additionally, during the search of the residence, controlled substances and paraphernalia were located and seized. A Wants and Warrant check on individuals at the residence located warrants on Travis Brendle and Jason Brown. Lakes Brendle, Travis Brendle and Jason Brown were arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center.
In a second search conducted in the Marble community of Cherokee County, several pounds of marijuana, paraphernalia and numerous relics and artifacts were located. Joshua Howard and Stephanie Blue were the occupants of the Marble residence. They were both arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center.
Jason Brown was charged with PROBATION VIOLATION. He was taken before the Magistrate who set a $2,000 unsecure bond. Brown is expected to be in Cherokee County District Court on September 27th, 2016.
Travis Brendle was charged with two counts of FAILURE TO APPEAR ON MISDEMEANOR. He was taken before the Magistrate who set a $2,000 secure bond. Brendle is expected to be in Cherokee County District Court on September 27th, 2016.
Lakes Brendle was charged with MAINTAIN PLACE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE POSSESS DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, MANUFACTURE MARIJUANA, POSSESS WITH INTENT TO MANUFACTURE/SELL/DELIVER MARIJUANA, POSSESS METHAMPHETAMINE. Brendle was taken before the Magistrate who set a $5,000 secure bond. Brendle is expected to be in Cherokee County District Court on September 27th, 2016.
Joshua Howard and Stephanie Blue were charged with POSSESS MARIJUANA PARAPHERNALIA, POSSESS WITH INTENT TO MANUFACTURE/SELL/DELIVER MARIJUANA, POSSESS MARIJUANA GREATER THAN 1/2 OZ TO 1 1/2 OZ. Howard and Blue were taken before the magistrate who set a $2,500 secure bond on both. They are expected to be in Cherokee County District Court on September 27th, 2016.
Sheriff Palmer stated, “We continue to work cooperatively with all agencies whether it is state, local or federal. I am sure as the investigation progresses, there will be more charges.”
Sheriff Palmer encourages anyone with information on this crime or any other to report it. To report crime in Cherokee County you can call the anonymous tip line at 828-837-1344 or email a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 911 if you observe a crime in progress.
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