The most read news item in 2021 on the Wilkes Journal-Patriot website (www.journalpatriot.com) concerned a Wilkes moonlight ‘legend’ accused of making and selling untaxed alcohol in September .
The top 10 rankings are based on the number of pageviews generated by all news from January 1 to December 23, 2021, as reflected in data provided by Google Analytics.
1. “Wilkes moonshine ‘legend’ among 5 accused,” (39,381 views); https://bit.ly/3mowRzF. Posted September 18.
This story involved a man from Wilkesboro who was charged in a federal indictment with being part of a conspiracy that produced and sold over 9,000 gallons of untaxed alcohol over approximately 2.5 years.
Roger “Buck” Nance, 75, and four other men have been charged with multiple loads of moonlight transported from a still in Roaring River near Richmond, Va., And sold between April 19, 2018 and September 23, 2020 .
Nance was a “master distiller of legally produced and taxed alcohol for a licensed distiller in North Wilkesboro” during this period, according to the federal indictment. He has been described in online profiles as a “folk hero”, a “legend” and a “true craftsman”.
The indictment said more than $ 100,000 in federal, North Carolina and Virginia excise taxes should have been but were not paid on the alcohol.
Clifton Ray Anderson Jr., 47, of Boomer and Huie Kenneth Nicholson, 74, of Hamptonville were indicted in the same indictment, filed Aug. 17 at the West District Charlotte office of the United States District Court. United.
Gary Matthew Ray, 53, of Roaring River, and James Patterson, 71, of Dinwiddie, Va., Were also charged with being part of the conspiracy in separate information bills filed September 10 at the Statesville district office. western.
2. “5 billed after again, hundreds of gallons of” seized shine “, (38,320 views); https://bit.ly/3emCTw6. Posted March 2.
In another story on the making of illegal liquor, a large distillery and several hundred gallons of moonlight were seized or destroyed and five people indicted in Wilkes following an investigation initiated by Triad ABC Law Enforcement in Winston -Salem.
Greg Miller, head of Triad ABC, said Triad ABC agents and detectives from the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office executed search warrants at 417 Brewer Baldwin Ridge Road in the community of Hays and 587 Dellaplane Road in the community. Antioch on January 20.
Miller said officers found a large, active liquor still inside a building, several hundred gallons of untaxed alcohol (moonshine) and several thousand gallons of mash at the Brewer Baldwin Ridge Road location. . He said the still was destroyed and some of the tax-free alcohol was kept as evidence.
He said officers found more moonlight and an old copper still that was no longer active at the Dellaplane Road location. Miller said the still was seized.
Miller said searches were conducted at both locations after Triad ABC agents were tipped in May about a possible tax-free alcoholic beverage still on Rock Creek Church Road in Hays.
This story arose out of the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office announcement in October that drug misdemeanor charges had been filed against 30 people following investigations over the past four months.
Captain Craig Dancy, who heads the sheriff’s office narcotics unit, said methamphetamine from the United States was still the dominant illegal drug in Wilkes.
During this investigation, 1,148 grams of methamphetamine were seized with a market value of approximately $ 41,000; 31 grams of heroin valued at approximately $ 3,000; 19 grams of cocaine valued at approximately $ 1,500; and 7,836 grams of marijuana valued at $ 20,000.
170 pills were also seized, which Dancy said was mostly fentanyl designed to resemble pain relievers Oxycontin or Palexia.
Dancy said many investigations resulted from citizens reporting seeing apparently illegal drug-related activity.
The newspaper reported that two people died in wrecks in Wilkes County over the weekend of August 21-22, one in the community of McGrady on August 22 and the other on August 21 in Ronda.
A Yadkin County man died Aug. 22 of a motorcycle accident around 3:30 p.m. on NC 18 North, midway up the Blue Ridge Mountain escarpment.
NC Highway Patrol Master Trooper Jeffrey Swagger said a 1982 Northbound Yamaha motorcycle driven by James John Anderton III, 52, from Boonville went left of center in a steep curve and collided with a 2016 Toyota Rav4 southbound driven by Louise Miller McGlamery, 72, of Wilkesboro.
On August 21 in Ronda, a man died when the 2008 Ford Escape he was operating wrecked on NC 268 East just west of East Wilkes High School in Ronda minutes before noon on Saturday. David Brian Haynes, 45, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Amanda Phillips, 37, the only passenger in the Ford, was injured and transported by Wilkes EMS to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. She was listed in stable condition with multiple fractures on the morning of August 22 at Wake Forest Baptist, said Private Zach Jennings of the NC Highway Patrol.
5. “Another platform waccount in the curve on the mountain NC 16, “ (15,464 views); http://bit.ly/2ZEOApI. Posted on November 19.
The story involved the wreckage of a single-axle semi-trailer carrying Christmas trees from the Fraser River as it descended NC 16 North Mountain in the community of Wilbar on November 18.
The platform, after suffering overheated brakes, rolled over onto its right side in an uphill embankment near the driveway to Wade Miller’s home, Wilbar Fire Chief Rick Jennings said.
Jennings said platform operator Damion L. Jones of Mooresville was walking outside the platform when Wilbar staff arrived. He said Jones had a big knot on his head and was transported by Wilkes EMS to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem.
History reports that methamphetamine has become even more dominant among the illegal drugs in Wilkes County.
Sheriff Wilkes Chris Shew announced the arrest of 20 people on drug charges on April 15, following ongoing investigations over the past two and a half months and all but one mainly involving methamphetamine.
Drug cartels south of the US-Mexico border are the main sources of methamphetamine sold here and Shew said it has become easier to bring it across the border into the United States under of the policies of the Biden administration.
Shew said the cartels are “forcing their agents here (in the US) to do business and get more people to sell” methamphetamine. Shew said fentanyl is also increasingly common in Wilkes, as well as more deadly.
Complaints from citizens of suspected drug activity in the Hamptonville section of Wilkes and Yadkin counties near US 421 have led to the arrests of three people charged with drugs, the article reported.
Captain Craig Dancy, who heads the narcotics unit at the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office, said the complaints involved an alleged “drug house” and trafficking to and from the house. Dancy said the house is on the Wilkes-Yadkin road in Wilkes, about 75 yards from the Yadkin line.
He said as part of the investigation, agents from the Wilkes and Yadkin Sheriff’s Offices stopped a Toyota pickup truck on Swan Creek Road in Yadkin on October 21 and found 67 grams of methamphetamine and two grams of heroin in the vehicle. Two stolen handguns, cash and drug paraphernalia from the pickup were also seized.
Those in the pickup, Matthew Allen Wilson, 27, Mersadeys Justyce Lyvers, 18, and Jason Scott Eller, 45, were arrested on drug charges. Wilson and Lyvers had addresses in North Wilkesboro and Eller had an address in Millers Creek when they were arrested.
8. “The Story of the Flossie Johnson Auction”, (12,124 views); https://bit.ly/3Em3mVd. Posted on December 7.
The story involved an auction of the personal belongings of a well-known Wilkes native girl that drew hundreds of people from across North Carolina and several other states.
The auctions were held on December 4 and 11 at the Somers Road home of the late Flossie Clark Johnson, often referred to as the âFirst Lady of NASCARâ. His heirs hired Elkin-based Vestal Auctions, with owner Scotty Vestal as auctioneer, to sell the contents of the house.
Junior Johnson, originally from the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Wilkes, also lived there before he and Flossie Johnson divorced in the early 1990s. She was 90 when she died in April 2020, about four months later. his death at 88.
9. “3 orders on kidnapping, robbery, other charges â, (12,002 views); https://bit.ly/30SJ2Nu. Posted August 17.
Wilkes’ sheriff’s office has charged three people with first-degree kidnapping, robbery, criminal conspiracy and other offenses following an incident in the second week of August, according to the article.
Sheriff’s Office Assistant Jessica Neal arrested the three after responding to a call about a possible disruption at 531 Reynolds Avenue, North Wilkesboro, received around 9 a.m. on August 13. They have been identified as Tamare Raynell Cole, 21, of Jonesville; Malachi Isaiah Wright, 20, of Traphill; and Jacob Anthony Blevins, 19, of Yadkinville.
It was determined that the three entered John Daniel Ralston’s home at 531 Reynolds Avenue and held Ralston, Gregorio Nava and Bradley Comer at gunpoint while depriving them of an undisclosed sum of money. , drugs and a weapon.
10. “The facility reopens as a Randleman Center to provide extended care” (11,545 views); https://bit.ly/3pmDXGy. Posted March 23.
The story was about the celebration of the expansion and reopening on March 19 of a local regional behavioral health care facility.
Synergy Recovery at the Shirley B. Randleman Center in North Wilkesboro opened to serve adults throughout western North Carolina, with a focus on residents of Wilkes, Alleghany, Ashe, Watauga and Avery counties .
At the time of publication, the facility had been closed for about a year for renovations and expansion as part of a $ 1.7 million project. The facility, on Peace Street, is known locally as the Drug Rehab Center and was renamed in honor of Wilkesboro’s Shirley Randleman, who successfully advocated for $ 1.4 million from the legislature for Vaya Health. to help finance construction while she was a state senator.