Report of gun at convenience store leads to drug charges

Jul. 03, 2014 @ 08:20 AM

A Lenoir man was arrested Monday after a witness told authorities he was in a car parked at a convenience store with a handgun.

The person who called 911 described the man parked in front of the Market Basket on Morganton Boulevard and read the license plate number, a press release issued by the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said. By the time deputies arrived, the car was gone, but deputies found it a short time later on Celia Creek Road.

The driver refused to allow deputies to search the car, which he said was not his, Detective Aaron Barlowe said. The sheriff's office contacted the car's owner, who gave permission for a search.

Deputies found 23.7 grams of meth and other items used in the sale of narcotics, as well as the gun, which was found on the floorboard, the sheriff's office said.

The driver, Steven Wayne Patton, 22, of Celia Creek Road, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, felony possession with intent to make, sell and deliver methamphetamine, felony maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $75,000 secured.