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The Southern Pines Police Department announces the arrest of Howard Earl Smith, 58 years of age, of Southern Pines, North Carolina, for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Fleeing to Elude Arrest with a Motor Vehicle.

On Saturday, November 3, 2018, at approximately 3:00 pm, officers from the Southern Pines Police Department were responding to a report of a fight in progress in the 300 block of Haley Street in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

While responding, officers observed a vehicle believed to be associated with the fight in progress to which they were responding. When officers attempted to stop this vehicle the operator, Howard Earl Smith, failed to stop and engaged officers in a vehicle pursuit.

Upon reaching Rothney Avenue in Southern Pines, the vehicle came to a stop and Howard Earl Smith was taken into custody without incident.

Recovered from the front seat of the vehicle was a loaded pump action 12 gauge shotgun. Additionally, a Taser was also found in the vehicle. Howard Earl Smith has a prior felony conviction for Felony Possession of Cocaine and therefore is prohibited by law to possess any firearm.

The Southern Pines Police Department will be working with our Federal law enforcement partners, specifically the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), to conduct a history trace on the recovered firearm to determine if additional charges need to be filed against Howard Earl Smith locally, or in the Federal Criminal Justice System.

Howard Earl Smith appeared before a Moore County Magistrate, and was subsequently incarcerated in the Moore County Detention Center under a $10,000.00 secured bond, pending a hearing in Moore County District Court on November 13, 2018.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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