ROCKINGHAM — A local bail bondsman is one of two people accused of drug trafficking in Richmond County.
According to a press release issued Saturday morning by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, investigators spent the past six months looking into complaints that a local bail bondsman, 37-year-old Kelly Elonzo Miller, of Hamlet, was dealing and “possibly” trafficking large amounts of narcotics into the area.
Investigators with the RCSO Community Impact Team and the Rockingham Police Department’s narcotics unit reportedly made multiple drug purchases from Miller and 25-year-old Natalie Ritter, also of Hamlet, at various locations throughout the county.
On Friday, Aug. 11, CIT investigators — along with the RCSO Special Response Team, Hamlet Police Department, Moore County Sheriff’s Office narcotics unit, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives — executed search warrants at a home on Rice Street in Hamlet and an apartment on Clemmer Road in Rockingham and vehicles, according to the sheriff’s office.
During the searches, investigators reportedly found and seized:
- 133 grams of cocaine
- 443.5 grams of fentanyl
- 432.7 grams of crystal methamphetamine
- assorted drug paraphernalia
- multiple firearms of unspecified quantity and caliber
- $84,017 in U.S. currency
Miller and Ritter were arrested and each charged with: trafficking in methamphetamine; trafficking in cocaine; trafficking in opium or heroin; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a Schedule I controlled substance; felony possession of a Schedule I controlled substance; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine; possession of methamphetamine; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver cocaine; possession of cocaine; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a Schedule III controlled substance; maintaining a place for a controlled substance; and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Miller was booked into the Richmond County Jail on a $1,250,000 secured bond; Ritter is being held on a $1,010,000 secured bond. Miller did not appear in jail records as of 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
(Note: Online court records did not reflect the charges of maintaining a place for a controlled substance or possession of drug paraphernalia for either defendant as of 12:30 p.m. Saturday; and Richmond County Jail records did not reflect the paraphernalia charge for Ritter.)
Both Miller and Ritter are scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 24.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Miller is one of 20 bail bondsmen listed on the RCSO website.
Bail bondsmen are licensed through the N.C. Department of Insurance. The RO was unable to look up Miller’s status on the DOI website on Saturday.
However, records show Miller had to pay a $1,000 civil penalty to the DOI in 2019 as part of a voluntary settlement agreement for using voided powers of attorney to post a $25,000 bond for a defendant the prior year.
Records with the N.C. Department of Adult Correction show Miller was convicted of speeding to elude arrest in 2004.
Ritter has no prior convictions in the state.