By DEUCE NIVEN
Fleeing from a Columbus County Sheriff’s Office traffic stop late on New Year’s Eve made a Rowland man the county’s first arrest of 2022, CCSO reports show.
Rondrell Santana Leach, 30, of Hickory Street in Rowland, faces a long list of drug and weapons charges, with his vehicle, a large quantity of marijuana, and nearly $35,000 in cash seized following a law enforcement pursuit that began before 11 p.m. on Seven Creeks Hwy and River Road and ended in the 8000 block of Swamp Fox Hwy East, Tabor City, reports by Deputy Donald Britt showed.
Leach was charged with possession with intent to manufacture sell and deliver marijuana, carrying a concealed gun, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance, two counts of damage to government property, and possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
Seized from his Ford F150 pickup truck were two pump shotguns, $34,817 in cash, 68.7 grams of marijuana, digital scales and packing materials, rubber bands, and more.
Deputies seized the truck under the state’s “run and done law,” sheriff’s spokesperson Michele Tatum said.
Deputies were conducting a New Year’s Eve checking station on Seven Creeks Hwy at River Road when Leach pulled up in his truck, initially stopped, then “sped off after speaking with deputies,” Tatum said. “A pursuit ensued. Leach ran into a ditch, then struck a patrol vehicle, and that patrol vehicle struck another patrol vehicle.”
Leach was booked into the Columbus County Detention Center early on New Year’s Day, released later the same day after posting a $41,000 bond, jail records show.
Look for more of the week’s news, including another narcotics case resulting in six arrests, in this week’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.