ROCKINGHAM — A man involved in a drug investigation is accused of leading a Richmond County deputy on a damage-causing chase.
According to warrants, 34-year-old Michael Octavis Smith, of Earle Franklin Drive, was involved in a drug transaction being investigated by the DEA.
Smith is accused of selling drugs from a 2019 Dodge Journey.
Sgt. Paul McDole, of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, reportedly tried to stop Smith April 20 on Mizpah Road.
The defendant allegedly refused to stop, driving more than 15 mph over the posted limit and causing more than $1,000 in property damage.
Smith was allegedly in possession of 455 grams of meth, as well as a Taurus .40-caliber handgun and a CZ Scorpion 9mm.
He was arrested and charged with one felony count each of: trafficking in methamphetamine; possession of a Schedule II controlled substance; maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance; possession of a firearm by a felon; and fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle.
Smith is being held in the Richmond County Jail on a combined $510,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in court May 5.
Records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction show Smith was first convicted in 2005 of committing a crime against nature. His probation was revoked in 2007 and he spent nearly seven months behind bars.
Smith was convicted in 2008 of possession of a firearm by a felon.
In 2020, he was convicted in Randolph County of both possession of a firearm by a felon and receiving/possessing a firearm.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.