A traffic stop resulting in a wreck led to one suspect being arrested on multiple charges days later, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office stated in a news release.
A second person is still being sought.
Albert Britford, 23, of Winston-Salem, has been arrested on outstanding Forsyth County warrants. He also faces felony charges of possessing stolen goods and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and misdemeanor charges of possessing a Schedule VI controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer.
He is currently being held in the Rowan County Detention Center without bond, a news release stated.
Felony warrants have been filed for Juvonta Lafond, 23, also of Winston-Salem for possession of a stolen vehicle, speeding to elude arrest and possession of a firearm by a felon, the sheriff’s office stated. He is listed as a wanted person by the RCSO and is believed to be in the Winston-Salem area.
Deputies said this is an ongoing investigation and more arrests are expected.
Shortly before midnight Saturday, Deputy Kelvin Peoples made a stop on Highway 52 in Gold Hill for a minor traffic violation, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Peoples said the driver didn’t provide a driver’s license and the deputy reported smelling the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Peoples saw a magazine for an assault rifle in plain view within the car, the release stated.
The other passenger in the vehicle also claimed to have no identification, authorities said.
Peoples called for additional units to assist, but the suspect vehicle sped off before back-up could arrive, the release said.
The sheriff’s office said Peoples returned to his car and pursued the suspect vehicle, which reached speeds of more than 100 mph. Deputies stated the chase entered Stanly County and went into Albemarle, where the suspect car wrecked on Church Street. Both suspects fled the car and ran into the woods, the release stated.
Additional units from the Albemarle Police Department and Stanly and Rowan county sheriff’s offices arrived to assist, but were unable to locate the suspects, authorities said.
The vehicle was searched and an AR-15 suspected to be stolen from Winston-Salem was found, the release stated. Authorities said they also found a loaded handgun, ski mask, gloves and marijuana in the car.
The occupants weren’t immediately identified; authorities suspect the deputy interrupted the suspects during some type of criminal activity that they were either traveling to or from, authorities said.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Division joined the investigation and determined the suspects were from Winston-Salem, the release stated. After reviewing forensic evidence and Peoples’ body camera footage, detectives identified the driver as Lafond.
Lafond has a lengthy criminal history. State records show he’s been convicted of common law robbery, robbery with a dangerous weapon, drug possession, assault, breaking and entering, post release revocation and possession of firearm by felon.
Rowan detectives contacted the Winston-Salem Police Department and identified the second suspect as Britford, authorities said.
Britford, 23, has a criminal history involving multiple breaking and entering, safecracking, larceny and possession of a firearm by felon. Britford was wanted by the Winston-Salem police, and both suspects are validated Blood gang members, the release stated.
Authorities said the Winston-Salem Police Department said Britford was possibly traveling to the area of Spencer in Rowan County. On Wednesday, detectives determined Britford was possibly at a residence in the 600 block of Meadow Lane in Spencer, the release stated.
Members of the Rowan and Forsyth County sheriff’s offices, Winston-Salem police and U.S. Marshal’s Office task force performed surveillance on the residence and observed Britford outside the home. The residence was surrounded and officials approached as Britford and another man ran inside, authorities said.
Deputies said both men left the home after repeated demands to do so. They added that while the fugitive was being arrested, a handgun was seen tucked between the seats of a car parked in front of the home.
Britford was identified and authorities found a key to the car containing the handgun on him during a search. Detectives later obtained a search warrant for the home and located a loaded 9mm handgun, drug paraphernalia and roughly one pound of marijuana, the release stated.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Lt. C. Moose at 704-216-8687, Sgt. Rodney Mahaley at 704-216-8711 or Crime Stoppers 1-866-639-5245.