FROM STAFF REPORTS

Two suspects face drug and weapons charges following a traffic stop on Interstate 77 by Iredell County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Sheriff Darren Campbell announced the arrests of Clifton Nathaniel Gatling, 47, of Cornerstone Court, Chambersburg, Pa., and Courtney Leanne Cole, 34, of West Main Street, Fayetteville, Pa., in a news release Tuesday.

Courtney Cole
Clifton Gatling

Gatling and Cole were traveling in a black BMW SUV on Friday, August 19, when they were stopped near mile marker 59 by deputies assigned to the ICSO Interstate Criminal Enforcement Team for motor vehicle violations, according to the news release.

Based on both the driver and passenger acting in a suspicious manner, deputies requested that Canine Connie be brought to the scene to assist with the stop, Campbell said.

After arriving on the scene, Connie made a positive alert for the presence and odor of an illegal drug in the vehicle, according to the news release.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies found three grams of cocaine, a handgun that was hidden under a seat, and $14,500, Campbell said. Deputies subsequently learned that the handgun had been reported stolen in Atlanta, Ga., according to the news release.

Gatling and Cole were transported to the Iredell County Detention Center, where they were both charged with Felony Possession of Cocaine, Felony Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Misdemeanor Carry Concealed Handgun, and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Gatling was also charged with Felony Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Magistrate Imes set their bonds at $80,000.

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