Sherriff Darren Campbell stated On 08-05-15 Sgt. W. E. Line with the Iredell County Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team stopped a 2001 GMC 1500 pickup truck for a traffic violation on I-40 east near mile marker 149.
Sgt. Line made contact with the driver who was identified as Chad Blankenship. While speaking with Mr. Blankenship Sgt. Line noticed that Mr. Blankenship and the passenger who was identified later as James Taber seemed overly nervous for a routine traffic stop. Sgt. Line asked Mr. Blankenship to come back to his patrol vehicle while he issued him a citation. While in Sgt. Line patrol vehicle Mr. Blankenship was asked where was he coming from. Mr. Blankenship stated he did not know where he had been. He took his friend to see some family members. When Sgt. Line asked Mr. Blankenship the name of his friend he was traveling with. Mr. Blankenship stated his name is James but did not know his last name.
After speaking with Mr. Blankenship further Sgt. Line asked to search his vehicle. Mr. Blankenship agreed to the request. Sgt R. Sherrill searched the vehicle and located a small amount of marijuana in a Pall Mall Cigarette box in the passenger area of the vehicle. Sgt. Sherrill continued his search of the vehicle and located a Ralph Lauren shoe box containing four pounds of marijuana in the tool box located in the bed of the truck.
Mr. Blankenship and Mr. Taber were charged with PWISD Marijuana, Felony Possession of Marijuana, Felony Maintaining a Vehicle/Dwelling/Place and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. It was also found that Mr. Taber had an outstanding order for arrest from Cumberland County for misdemeanor larceny and possession of stolen goods. Both subjects were transported to the Iredell County Detention Center and taken before the magistrate. Mr. Blankenship received a $14,000.00 secured bond and Mr. Taber received a $14,500.00 secured bond.