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News (Media Awareness Project) - US NC: Feds Bust Deputy
Title:US NC: Feds Bust Deputy
Published On:2009-12-03
Source:Hickory Daily Record (NC)
Fetched On:2009-12-06 17:20:41
FEDS BUST DEPUTY

A former Catawba County sheriff's deputy is charged with conspiring to
distribute cocaine in Catawba County, according to a criminal
complaint filed in federal district court.

Brandon Lee Evans, 27, of Hickory, worked with the sheriff's office
from Oct. 13, 2008, until Monday as a part-time bailiff in the
courthouse. According to the criminal complaint, Evans conducted
narcotics activity as early as 2008 through Monday, sometimes while
wearing his uniform.

The complaint alleges he conspired with others to distribute and
possess with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing
at least five kilograms (about 11 pounds) of a mixture and substance
containing cocaine.

Evans had his initial court appearance on Tuesday. He is being
detained until Friday, when he will have his next court appearance,
said Suellen Pierce, with the U.S. Attorney's Office for North
Carolina's western district. Bond could be set at that hearing.

The criminal complaint by a special agent with the Department of
Homeland Security and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) lists three other people, David Mark Lowman, Chucky Price and
Jason Scott Cook, as co-conspirators. Lowman, Price and Cook were
indicted on Nov. 19, along with eight other people. On Sept. 8, Cook's
Claremont home was searched, and authorities found 13 firearms,
including assault weapons. Investigators also seized 60 firearms
belonging to Lowman.

According to the complaint, Evans accompanied Price on "drug runs."
Price and Evans would get a sample size of cocaine, often an ounce,
and go somewhere else to test it by cooking it into a cocaine base. If
they were satisfied, they would return to purchase the full amount of
cocaine, according to the complaint.

"Lowman has told Cook that he had Evans distribute narcotics to some
of Lowman's customers recently in uniform and pretend he was going to
arrest them," the complaint states.

On Monday, the ICE agent conducting the investigation interviewed
Evans at the Catawba County Sheriff's Office. According to the
criminal complaint, Evans was not yet under arrest, and agreed to
answer the questions voluntarily. Evans said he knew Lowman for about
two years, and became familiar with Lowman's drug operation during
that time, according to the complaint.

Evans "admitted to participating in the pickup of cocaine from two
different sources of supply on numerous occasions and making
deliveries of cocaine to approximately five different cocaine
distributors for Lowman with Price," the complaint states. "Evans
further stated that he was familiar with the location in which Price
maintained their stash of cocaine and gave (the ICE agent) specific
details as to the location of the stash inside the residence located
in Longview, where on Nov. 24, (the ICE agent) and others located and
seized a quantity of cocaine."

Catawba County Sheriff David Huffman declined to comment on Evans'
arrest, citing the federal investigation. Huffman did say that all
employees hired by the sheriff's office undergo background checks,
which would turn up something as small as a speeding ticket.

On Tuesday, Evans' parents expressed shock over the charge against
their son, who still lives with them.

"It knocked us over," said his mother.

His dad, Charles Evans, described Evans as a good, family-oriented
person.

"He'd give you the shirt off his back," Charles said. "He didn't do
the things they say. He's not that kind of person."

Evans is one of three children. Charles said his son used to work at
Joan Fabrics. When Evans was laid off, he went to school for basic law
enforcement training. Although Evans only worked part time for the
sheriff's office, Charles said Evans really wanted to work for the
department full time.

"He loved his job," Charles said.

His mother said Evans had to ask her for gas money from time to
time.

"If he really was doing what they said, would he have to take gas
money?" Charles asked.

Both Charles and his wife said they are upset they have been unable to
visit Evans in jail - visiting hours are only on Friday, they
said, unless someone has been in jail for more than 48 hours, Charles
said.

Charles said he plans to attend Evans' court appearance Friday.
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