Church break-ins lead to prison for Dobson man


Surry County Detention Center

DOBSON — A Dobson man will serve two years in jail for a series of break-ins involving two area churches, one school and a local volunteer fire department.

James Benson Rhodes Jr., 28, of Lakeview Drive, Mount Airy, pleaded guilty to two counts each of breaking and entering a place of worship, breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering. He also pleaded guilty to a single count of injury to real property.

In Surry County Superior Court last week, Presiding Judge Anderson Cromer ordered the defendant to serve two consecutive prison sentences of 12 to 14 months, a total between two years and two years, four months.

Restitution of $255 owed to CC Camp Volunteer Fire Department and $1,850 owed to Rock Hill Baptist Church was converted to a civil judgment.

Rhodes had been initially charged in June.

According to information provided by the Surry County Sheriff’s Office after his arrest, the break-ins occurred between May 16 and May 30 at Rockford Elementary School in Dobson, CC Camp Volunteer Fire Department in Elkin, and two churches just two miles apart in the Blackwater/Ararat area: Blackwater United Methodist Church and Rock Hill Baptist Church.

Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson, a member of Blackwater United Methodist Church, said information from the incident at Rock Hill helped investigators break the case.

The suspect allegedly stole $50 cash from that church and fled the scene on a scooter, Atkinson said.

At the sheriff’s own church, nothing was stolen.

“These were targets of opportunity,” he said. “The suspect has a lengthy history of break-ins.”

• Brian Glenn Snow, 32, of Old Rockford Road, Dobson, was imprisoned after pleading guilty to felony drug and theft convictions Jan. 11. He was convicted of felony larceny, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, and a charge of obtaining property by false pretense was dismissed.

Snow was ordered to serve seven to 18 months in the Department of Adult Corrections.

The court recommended work release for the defendant and for the sentence to be followed by nine months of post-release supervision.

• On Jan. 10, probation was revoked for Thomas Lee Pardon, 38, of Tobaccoville Road, Rural Hall.

Pardon had been placed on supervised probation in August 2016 following convictions on several felonious drug charges which included maintaining a drug vehicle or dwelling and possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance (two counts), a schedule I controlled substance, a schedule IV controlled substance and marijuana.

Having admitted to violating probation, Pardon was ordered to serve his previously suspended sentence of six to 17 months in prison.

• William Howard Dutton, 58, of North South Street, pleaded guilty to a single count of maintaining a drug vehicle or dwelling on Jan. 11. A charge of possession of distribution of a methamphetamine precursor was dismissed.

He was given a 120-day sentence which was suspended pending the successful completion of 24 months of supervised probation. He was additionally ordered to pay $1,500 in costs and fees.

If he is in full compliance, Dutton’s probation may be changed to unsupervised.

• Tommy Dean McMillian Jr., of Pottery Lane, Mount Airy, admitted to violating probation and pleaded guilty to drug charges on Jan. 11.

For the probation violation, his previously suspended eight- to 19-month sentence was activated.

For the drug charges, a possession of methamphetamine charge was reduced to misdemeanor possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He also pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and was given 120 days to run concurrently with the active sentence in the above judgment.

• Jesse Lee Blevins, 25, of Boomer Road, Boomer, pleaded guilty to one count of obtaining property by false pretense on Jan. 12 and a charge of possession of stolen goods or property was dismissed.

He was given an eight- to 19-month prison sentence, suspended pending the successful completion of 18 months of supervised probation. Blevins was also ordered to pay a $500 fine and ordered not to be on the premises of Walmart.

• Bobby Roy Jones, 59, of Odyssey Way, Mount Airy, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon. He was given a suspended 12- to 24-month sentence and placed on supervised probation for one year. He was ordered to pay a $100 fine, which if paid in full, his probation may be switched to unsupervised.

Rhodes Surry County Detention Center
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