The Richmond Observer – Man allegedly found with methamphetamine in his pocket when arrested at Rockingham motel

ROCKINGHAM— A man with an outstanding warrant was reportedly caught with methamphetamine at a local motel.

Deputies responded to the Budget Inn in Rockingham at around 1.26am on Friday, May 6, after receiving a tip that Gary Jason Thrift, 45, was there, according to a press release on Tuesday.

The first deputy to arrive would have seen Thrift walking away from one of the rooms. When Thrift noticed the deputy, he allegedly started walking in the opposite direction.

The deputy allegedly approached Thrift to inform the defendant of an outstanding arrest warrant. Thrift was reportedly taken into custody without incident.

While patting Thrift, the deputy allegedly found a pack of cigarettes in the accused’s front pocket. Inside: a bag of meth.

Thrift is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and possession of methamphetamine. He was taken to the Richmond County Jail, where he is being held on a $15,000 combined bond. Thrift is due in court May 19 for a drug felony and May 27 for a misdemeanor.

Online court records show Thrift has pending misdemeanor charges of breaking and entering and driving with a revoked license.

Thrift has a criminal record dating back to 1995, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Adult Corrections Division.

In November of that year, Thrift was convicted of three counts of breaking and entering and theft and one count of larceny in Chatham County.

In May 1996, Thrift was convicted in Chatham County of breaking and entering, cracking safes and stealing safes, and using a counterfeit instrument.

Two months later, convictions for theft and forgery were added and given a split sentence, putting him behind bars for three months.

In 1997, he was convicted in Chatham County on one count of breaking and entering and felony theft, and records appear to show the previously combined B&E and theft charges were separate. His probation on previous convictions was revoked, resulting in a 16-month incarceration.

In July 1999, Thrift was convicted in Lee County of robbery with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm at occupied property, and being a habitual felon, for which he served two years and five months in jail.

Thrift was put on probation for his most recent convictions:

  • 2015: Impaired driving in Moore County; two counts of driving with a revoked license in Richmond County
  • 2016: Driving with a revoked license in Richmond County
  • 2017: Driving with a revoked license, possessing an open container of alcohol after consumption in Moore County.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court.

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