HAMLET — Police say they found a handgun on a Moore County man with felony convictions in three counties.
According to the Hamlet Police Department, an officer responded to a call Sunday about a suspicious person walking around the Circle B convenience store with a gun tucked into his waistband.
When the officer arrived, the suspect had already left the store, however, witnesses gave a description of the vehicle he was driving.
That vehicle was later spotted at the Convenience Corner car wash, according to police.
The officer then reportedly approached the man, 30-year-old Johnte Lamar Rankins, of Cameron. While speaking to Rankins, the officer reportedly saw the bulge of the gun and performed a search, finding a Glock .43-caliber pistol.
Police say the officer ran Rankins’ information through the system and found he had been convicted of multiple felonies.
Records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction show Rankins was first convicted in Cumberland County in 2009 of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance.
In 2011, he was convicted of possession with intent to sell or deliver a Schedule VI controlled substance and aiding and abetting the use or possession of drug paraphernalia in Harnett County; and injury to personal property in Cumberland County.
Rankins’ probation on the drug charges was revoked in 2013 and he spent nearly six months behind bars.
In 2014, he was convicted on felony charges of larceny and breaking and entering; and in 2015, he was convicted of assault on a female in Lee County.
His probation on those charges was also revoked and Rankin was incarcerated for another six months.
Rankins was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and carrying a concealed weapon, the latter charge being a misdemeanor.
He was booked into the Richmond County Jail under a combined $15,000 secured bond: $5,000 on the misdemeanor charge; $10,000 on the felony. He is scheduled to appear in court June 27.
Online court records show Rankins has several other pending criminal charges and traffic infractions in other counties:
- Cumberland – break or enter a motor vehicle; larceny of a firearm; possession of a firearm by a felon; possession of a controlled substance on prison or jail premises; felony possession of cocaine; giving fictitious information to an officer; speeding; driving with a revoked license.
- Lee – speeding; driving with a revoked license.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.