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Four linked to series of crimes

Four men allegedly involved in a series of crimes – including two home invasions and assault cases in 2019, and a home invasion and arson crime this past July – have been identified.

Brian Valentine

Bertie County Sheriff John Holley and Hertford County Sheriff jointly announced that 35-year-old Brian Kenton Valentine, and Tracey Lamont Mitchell, age 27, both of Ahoskie, along with Horace James White Jr. and Travis Smallwood (ages and hometowns were not available) are linked to the crimes.

The first occurred on Feb. 17, 2019 where Valentine and Smallwood, both armed with weapons, allegedly forced their way into the home of an elderly Ahoskie couple on Early Station Road and committed assault and robbery.

Tracey Mitchell

On June 19, 2019, a similar crime was committed at a residence on Early Station Road in Bertie County. On that date, Holley said his deputies responded after receiving a 911 call from a resident. Upon arrival, deputies located a man and woman who were the apparent victims of a burglary and robbery. Both residents had been assaulted and one resident was still tied up when the deputies arrived.

In that crime, Holley said Valentine, Mitchell, and White are each charged with one count each of First Degree Burglary, Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, and Felony Larceny, two counts each of First Degree Kidnapping, and six counts each of Larceny of a Firearm.

Additionally, Valentine and White face one count each of possession of a firearm by a felon.

On July 25 of this year, Hayes said Valentine, Mitchell, and White entered a home on NC 45 south of Harrellsville where a robbery occurred and the residence was set on fire.

In the two Hertford County cases, Hayes said the four men stand charged as follows:

Valentine: Attempted First Degree Murder, Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury, First Degree Burglary (2 counts), First Degree Kidnapping (3 counts), First Degree Arson, Safecracking, Larceny of a Firearm (2 counts), Felony Conspiracy (2 counts), and Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon (2 counts).

Horace James White Jr.

Mitchell: Attempted First Degree Murder, First Degree Burglary, First Degree Kidnapping, First Degree Arson, Larceny of a Firearm, and Felony Conspiracy.

Smallwood: Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury, First Degree Burglary, First Degree Kidnapping (2 counts), Safecracking, Larceny of a Firearm, and Felony Conspiracy.

White: Attempted First Degree Murder, First Degree Burglary, First Degree Kidnapping, First Degree Arson, Larceny of a Firearm, Felony Conspiracy, and Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon.

Travis Smallwood

Valentine and Mitchell are currently locked-up in the Hertford County Detention Center for attempted murder in Gates County. That crime was committed on Oct. 7.

White and Smallwood both remain at large and are to be considered armed and dangerous.

Those with knowledge of White’s or Smallwood’s whereabouts are asked to call the Bertie Sheriff’s Office at 252-794-5330, the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office at 252-358-7800 or their nearest law enforcement agency.

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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