Arrest mix-up raises concerns over communications problem.
An undercover Iredell County Sheriff's Office deputy recently purchased drugs from undercover Statesville police officers, raising questions about communications between the two agencies.
Statesville Police Chief Tom Anderson said undercover officers from his department were working a week-long case when they met with someone interested in selling a small amount of marijuana.
The undercover SPD officers met with the individual in the parking lot of a local store to make the deal, Anderson said.
But the officers became suspicious that the seller was, in fact, an undercover deputy, Anderson said.
SPD officers placed a call to Capt. David Ramsey, who heads the sheriff's office narcotics unit, and were told the seller was not a deputy, Anderson said.
"At that point we proceeded like we normally do and placed him under arrest," the chief said.
After the arrest, investigators from the sheriff's office arrived and confirmed the seller was an undercover deputy and he was released, Anderson said.
Sheriff Phil Redmond said the initial denial that the deputy worked for the sheriff's office was a mix-up."We had several large-scale operations going on at once, and the wires got crossed on this one," he said.
Man Tasered After Sniffing Gas Bursts in Flames
A man whose relatives say had been sniffing gasoline burst into flames after a police officer Tasered him as he ran at officials carrying a container of fuel, police said Tuesday.
The man, identified by his family as 36-year-old Ronald Mitchell, was in critical condition at a Perth hospital in Western Australia state following Monday's incident in Warburton, an Aboriginal community 950 miles northeast of Perth.
Western Australia police said they were responding to a complaint at a house when Mitchell ran outside the house carrying a cigarette lighter and a large plastic bottle containing what they believe was fuel. When he refused to stop running toward them, one officer Tasered him, police said in a media release.
The man was immediately engulfed in flames. The officer threw him to the ground and smothered the blaze with his hands, the statement said. Mitchell was charged with assault to prevent arrest and possession of a sniffing substance.