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RCSO: Deputy finds meth, heroin during East Rockingham traffic stop; driver had outstanding warrants

ROCKINGHAM — A man with outstanding warrants for assault in two counties was allegedly caught with drugs in a traffic stop.

A patrol deputy conducted a traffic stop Feb. 4 on School Street, pulling over 58-year-old Arthur Lee Johnson, of Rockingham, for registration violations, according to a press release from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Johnson reportedly had an outstanding warrant in Richmond County, as well as one in Mecklenburg County.

The defendant reportedly had a black bag strapped across his chest when asked to step out of the vehicle.

When the deputy searched the bag, he reportedly found 1.4 grams of heroin, 5 grams of methamphetamine and 6 grams of marijuana, as well as a set of digital scales and unspecified paraphernalia. A handgun of an unspecified caliber was also reportedly found in the vehicle.

Johnson was arrested and charged with: possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver heroin; possession of heroin; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine; possession of methamphetamine; possession with intent to manufacture sell or deliver marijuana; possession of a firearm by a felon; possession of up to a half-ounce of marijuana; possession of marijuana paraphernalia; possession of drug paraphernalia; and carrying a concealed gun.

He was also served with the outstanding warrants, charging him with:

  • two counts each of assault by pointing a gun and communicating threats in Richmond County
  • a single count of assault on a female in Mecklenburg County.

Online court records appear to show the Mecklenburg charges are from 2003, and the Richmond County charges are from 2022, based on the case numbers.

Johnson was also cited for driving with a revoked license, driving with no insurance and having a canceled, suspended or revoked certificate or tag.


He was booked into the Richmond County Jail where, as of the afternoon of Feb. 6, was still being held on a combined $55,000 secured bond.

He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 16 on the recent charges, Feb. 20 on the Mecklenburg charge, Feb. 24 on the 2022 charges, and March 30 on the traffic citations.

Records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction show Johnson’s only felony conviction was his first — for possession with intent to sell a Schedule VI controlled substance and selling a Schedule VI controlled substance — in 1988, for which he served 13 months.

Johnson was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 1993 and was given probation — which was revoked in 1996 when he was convicted on the same charge in a different incident, resulting in an incarceration period of less than seven months.

Records show Johnson’s most recent conviction was for assault on a female in 1998.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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