Tip nets arrest of Wilson trio

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 14, 2008

WINTON – One tip led to the arrest of three individuals wanted for a number of crimes in five counties.

Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said that tip, received July 12 from a Rich Square business owner, resulted in a traffic stop in his county that netted the arrests of three Wilson residents.

Now behind bars in the Hertford County Jail are Lavell Dashawn Brown, 21, Tony Leonard, 45, and Cynthia Leonard-Ellis, 42.

“We received the information that those three were possibly headed towards our county after allegedly stealing items from a Rich Square supermarket,” Sheriff Vaughan said.

Hertford County Sheriff’s Deputy Lloyd Parker stopped the suspect vehicle on NC 561. The items stolen from the supermarket were recovered, including 11 cases of liquid and powder baby formula valued at $1,000.

Parker charged the trio with felony possession of stolen property and a Hertford County Magistrate set their individual bonds at $10,000 each.

Those bonds increased dramatically upon learning of the threesome’s alleged criminal history.

Brown was also wanted in Nash County for attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill by inflicting serious injury and discharging a firearm into occupied property. Additionally, he had warrants on file by the Rich Square Police Department (RSPD) for felony larceny and possession of stolen property.

All totaled, Brown’s bond was set at $1.1 million secured.

Tony Leonard saw his bond increased by an additional $50,000 (secured) based upon RSPD warrants for larceny and possession of stolen goods.

Leonard-Ellis was wanted in Pitt, Halifax, Nash and Wilson counties for failure to appear in court and several probation violations. Those resulted in an additional $2,000 (secured) added to her bond. She was also served with three RSPD warrants for possession of stolen property, obtaining property by false pretense and providing fictitious information to a law enforcement officer. Those charges resulted in an additional $150,000 secured bond.

Assisting in the arrests and subsequent investigation were Lt. Mike Stephenson, Sgt. Johnny Joyner and Detective Brian Pearce of the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and Officer Dan Flores of the Ahoskie Police Department.

“Thanks to the efforts of our officers and Officer Flores, we were able to get three people off the street that apparently have a history of criminal activity,” Sheriff Vaughan said.