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VA duo charged

AHOSKIE – What started as an attempt to cash a check at a local bank ended with two Virginia residents in jail.

Brionte Kenyetta Goode, 25, of Hopewell VA and 24-year-old Ricky Nelson Jones of Emporia, VA were arrested Thursday by the Ahoskie Police after it was alleged that Jones was trying to cash a check at Wells Fargo Bank on Main Street.

As it turned out, the check was stolen, and an ensuing investigation led to other charges. Meanwhile, a split-second decision by APD Sgt. Rose Mizelle saved the life of Goode, who was found unresponsive in a vehicle parked in the rear lot of the bank.

Jones was charged with four felonies – obtaining property by false pretense, forgery of an endorsement, attempted uttering, and altering the serial number of a handgun. He also faces two misdemeanors – carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

For those counts, Jones was jailed under a $40,000 secured bond. Another $2,000 was added to that bond when a check of his background by the Ahoskie Police found that he had an outstanding arrest warrant from Guilford County on the charge of obtaining property by false pretense.

Goode was jailed under a $10,000 secured bond on the charges of felony altering the serial number of a handgun, and the misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon.

Both are scheduled to make their initial appearance in Hertford County District Court on April 18.

The incident began when Jones walked into Wells Fargo at around 11:30 a.m. at which time he was attempting to cash a check.

“I can’t speak on behalf of the Wells Fargo staff, but I would assume from their level of training they are able to spot something out of sorts when it comes to making a financial transaction,” said Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh. “Whatever alerted them to that check led to them to contact our department.”

Fitzhugh said Sgt. Mizelle was the first to arrive on the scene.

“She was met outside by one of the bank employees, advising her that there was a female (later identified as Goode) passed out in a vehicle in the bank parking lot,” Fitzhugh remarked. “Sgt. Mizelle was aware that there were other officers en route to the scene, so she decided to first check on the welfare of the female in the vehicle.”

Fitzhugh added that Mizelle is also EMT certified, and that level of training led her to believe the female was suffering from an overdose.

“Sgt. Mizelle did a good job on two accords….as an EMT and as a police officer,” Fitzhugh noted. “She saw the medical signs of a drug overdose and administered Narcan (an opiate antidote). Her training on both accords came in handy. I commend her and all of my officers in this incident.”

After the Narcan worked its magic, Goode was revived. Fitzhugh said Mizelle then asked the woman to produce identification.

“By that point, Sgt. Mizelle had already observed several rounds of ammunition in plain sight inside the vehicle,” Fitzhugh shared. “When the female reached for her purse, Sgt. Mizelle quickly seized possession of it, and after searching she discovered a loaded .38 caliber pistol inside the purse.

“The training that all police officers go through kicked in at that moment,” said Fitzhugh. “With the visible presence of ammunition inside the vehicle, it would lead an officer to assume there is some sort of weapon there as well. But what we cannot assume is if or when the person with the weapon may decide to use it. Sgt. Mizelle did the right thing by preventing the woman access to the pocketbook, one in which there was a loaded weapon inside.”

Fitzhugh added that the serial number on the weapon had been altered, which led to that charge against both Goode and Jones.

While Mizelle was working outside, APD Captain Michele Garrett, Detective Sgt. Stephen White and Detective Justin Farmer went inside the bank to deal with Jones where they learned he had allegedly attempted the cash a stolen check.

“We would like to thank the employees of Wells Fargo Bank for their assistance in our investigation,” Fitzhugh said.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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