Hotel manager allowed drug sales, police say

Jun. 12, 2014 @ 08:16 AM

The manager of the Days Inn on Blowing Rock Boulevard is accused of taking part in the sale of drugs from a room in the hotel, Lenoir and Caldwell County investigations said Wednesday.

The Lenoir Police Narcotics Unit and the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office Ice Unit went to the hotel with a search warrant for Room 116, where their investigation determined drugs were being sold, Lenoir Capt. Couby Stilwell said. The investigation followed complaints about drug activity at the hotel.

Hotel manager Urmil Patel, 40, who also is the son of the hotel's owners, was leaving the room as officers approached it, and no one else was in the room, Stilwell said.

A search of the room found 7 grams of crack cocaine, 12 grams of marijuana, nine Oxycodone pills and $2,000 cash, he said.

The room had been booked for a long period in the name of Jerry Lamont Lindsey, 30, of Old North Road in Lenoir, but he was not at the hotel at the time of the search, Stilwell said. Lindsey was arrested a short time later at his residence.

Both Lindsey and Patel were charged with three felonies: possession with intent to make, sell or distribute cocaine, maintaining a dwelling for the sale of narcotics, and trafficking in heroin or opium by possession. They also were charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Lindsey's bond was set at $100,000 secured. Patel was released on a written promise to appear in court.

Lindsey has several previous felony drug convictions and also was convicted in 1993 of armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, according to the N.C. Division of Adult Correction.

Patel has no prior convictions in North Carolina.