ROCKINGHAM — A man who reportedly hasn’t been paying child support was reportedly caught with a stolen gun.
According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were patrolling around East Rockingham on Thursday, April 13 when they spotted 57-year-old Joseph Jerome Bright walking down Broadway Street.
The deputies reportedly knew Bright had outstanding warrants for not paying child support.
While Bright was being placed under arrest, deputies reportedly asked if he had any weapons. He reportedly admitted having a gun in his waistband and told the deputies he was a convicted felon.
The deputies reportedly found a .25-caliber handgun — which had been reported stolen. The RCSO did not specify from where it was reported stolen.
Bright was charged with one felony count each of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a stolen firearm.
He was booked into the Richmond County Jail where, as of Monday evening, he was being held on those charges and four counts of failure to appear pursuant to show cause for failure to pay child support.
Bright is being held on a combined $12,500 secured bond on the criminal charges and a combined $5,759.06 cash bond on the child support charges. Records show he is scheduled to appear in court on all charges April 27.
Records with the N.C. Department of Adult Correction show Bright was first convicted in 1998 of domestic criminal trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia and in 2000 of driving while license revoked.
In 2001, Bright was convicted on two counts of assault on a female, injury to personal property, possession of a Schedule V controlled substance and carrying a concealed weapon — all misdemeanors.
Bright was convicted again of domestic criminal trespassing in 2003, as well as maintaining a place for a controlled substance, the latter being his first felony. He was initially given probation, which was revoked the following year, resulting in a five-month incarceration.
He was convicted of driving with a revoked license in 2006 and communicating threats in 2015, receiving probation both times.
However, Bright went back to prison for another five months in 2017 when he was convicted on a felony charge of habitual misdemeanor assault.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.