On Thursday, April 5th at approximately 230pm, A Morganton Public Safety Narcotics Investigator received a complaint about the odor of Marijuana coming from a room at The Comfort Inn located on Burkemont Ave. in Morganton.  The investigator could smell Marijuana from the hotel hallway and proceeded to knock on the hotel room door.  A white male, later identified as Russell Monroe Dunn, Jr answered the door.  The narcotics investigator asked Dunn if there were any weapons or any illegal narcotics in the room.  Dunn stated there were guns in the room and proceeded to quickly walk away into the room.  Dunn was detained just before reaching a dresser which contained several pistols.  

Inside there were three additional people. Joseph Tray Benfield of Caldwell County, Erica Lindsay Walker of Caldwell County and a 16 year old female of Caldwell County.

The room had been rented by Erica Lindsay Walker (a convicted felon) two days earlier.  Walker gave consent to search the room.  Additional officers from Morganton Public Safety and Burke Narcotics Task Force arrived and assisted with the search.  Located inside the room, officers found the following items:

-5 loaded pistols

-Over $18,000 in cash

-2 kilo’s of Methamphetamine (4.4 pounds)

-A bullet proof vest

-Numerous items of drug paraphernalia used to package, weigh, use and distribute narcotics.

Through the investigation it was determined that the hotel room had been used for the sale and use of illegal narcotics.

A tax agent from the NC Department of Revenue arrived on scene to assess forfeiture assets.

Russell Monroe Dunn Jr (DOB-07/10/1983) was charged with the following crimes:

-Trafficking Methamphetamine (Felony)

-Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (Felony)

-Possession with the intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine (Felony)

-Maintain a dwelling for the sell and distribution of methamphetamine 

His bond is $400,000 secured with a first appearance in district court 04/06/2018

Dunn has been convicted of a variety of felonies to include Assault with a Deadly Weapon on Law Enforcement, Breaking and Entering into a House of Worship.

Erica Lindsay Walker (DOB-01/15/1989) was charged with the following crimes:

-Trafficking Methamphetamine (Felony)

-Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (Felony)

-Possession with the intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine (Felony)

-Maintain a dwelling for the sell and distribution of methamphetamine 

Her bond is $400,000 secured with a first appearance in district court 04/06/2018

Joseph Tray Benfield (DOB-07/30/1997) was charged with the following crimes:

-Trafficking Methamphetamine (Felony)

-Possession with the intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine (Felony)

-Maintain a dwelling for the sell and distribution of methamphetamine 

His bond is $200,000 secured with a first appearance in district court 04/06/2018

A 16 year old female was charged with the following crimes:

-Trafficking Methamphetamine (Felony)

-Possession with the intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine (Felony)

-Maintain a dwelling for the sell and distribution of methamphetamine 

Her bond is $200,000 secured with a first appearance in district court 04/06/2018