BY Chad Nesbitt

Leader Leicester March 16 - March 22, 2017

County Sheriff’s Department met with the Leicester

Leicester - The Buncombe com-

munity last week. Ap- proximately 40 commu- nity mem-

bers attended the meeting at Victory Baptist Church and all had questions for the Sheriff’s Department. Most of the citizens wouldn’t

give their names because they said they didn’t want retribu- tion from their neighbors, but Bruce Snelson had concerns about dirt bikes on his proper- ty and on the new New Leices- ter Highway road construction. He said, “They are trespassing and they are a nuisance.” Snel- son said, “These dirt bike rid- ers have no respect for the law.” After each person spoke,

an officer would ask them to write their contact informa- tion on a piece of paper so the Sheriffs office could follow up with them. One lady said she lives off of Mckinish Cove Rd. where “someone is stealing dogs.” Another lady wanted to

know about the halfway hous- es popping up in the Leicester community. She was concerned about who polices the halfway houses. Sheriff deputies re- sponded that the owners of the halfway houses do. Other questions ranged from

how to remove renters you sus- pect are thieves, drugs in the schools,

and response times,

but the meeting kept coming back to Mcinnish Cove Rd where six people were arrested for drug trafficking. Local and federal law en-

forcement officers raided 208 Mcinnish Cove Rd three weeks ago and found over 2,000 pounds of marijuana. Officers arrested Tisha Michelle Cle- ments, 43, James Arthur Clem- ents, 44, Eduardo Macias-Bel- tran, 28, Idelfonos Napoleon Lopez, 67, Kenneth Robert


West Buncombe

Alexander Newfound Erwin Hills

Leicester Woodfin

Deputies meeting with community

Grace Jr., 25 and Johnny Ruiz Ramirez, 28, and charged them with conspiring to traffic mari- juana. A neighbor at the meeting

said, “after they were released on bail, cars were going up and down Mcinnish Cove Rd at all hours of the night.” An- other neighbor said, “I think they went right back to dealing again.” The six recently appeared in

court only to have their court dates

postponed. The next

court date for the six charged is March 23rd. Sheriff deputies said that

two officers are patrolling Leicester at all times and that the average response time to a call is nine minutes. The next Leicester Commu-

nity meeting with the Sheriff’s Department is March 30th. It will be at the Leicester Com- munity Center at 6 p.m. and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan is expected to be there.

Snelson farm fire

Firefighers work the fire. On Friday, March 10th, a

fire broke out at Snelson’s farm of which sirens could be heard from all over the area and sparked

BY Chad Nesbitt


attention of drivers pass-

ing by on New Leicester Hwy. The farm is located across the street from the Leicester Post Of- fice. The fire is believed to have been

10 THE TRIBUNE/LEADER - March 16 - March 22, 2017

started from a wood stove in the barn. Family member Austin Snelson said he had just left the barn 45 minutes before the fire started. Snelson said, “I got about on the other side of the Leicester dip and my Dad called and said get back, the barn’s on fire.” “When I got here it was pretty

well fully engulfed,” Snelson told the Leader. The blaze was fueled by the high winds Friday. Snelson said that one guy said that it was

barely smoking one minute and the next it was fully engulfed. The wind was extremely windy

and there were six fire trucks and an ambulance at the scene in case the fire got out of control: Leices- ter and West Buncombe, along with one of the fire trucks from Weaverville. Water was pulled from a creek beside the barn and pumped through a fire truck to put out the fire. No one or any livestock were injured in the blaze.

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