Sheriff looking for sex offender

By Jeff Linville -


DOBSON — The Surry County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a convicted felon.

Joseph Odell Spencer, 43, was tried in the Superior Court of Surry County on Wednesday for failing to report a new address as a registered sex offender. A Surry County jury found him guilty of this charge.

Spencer had been released on bond after his initial arrest and wasn’t being held in custody during the trial, explained the sheriff’s office. While the jury deliberated, Spencer left the courthouse and did not return.

Judge Angela Puckett issued an order for his arrest.

Spencer was convicted in June 1998 of two felonies: taking indecent liberties with a child and attempted first-degree sexual offense.

According to record with the N.C. Department of Public Safety, Spencer originally received a suspended sentence and probation. However, after he was found guilty of possession with intent to sell/deliver a Schedule II drug and possession of a counterfeit instrument in 2005, the earlier suspended sentence became active.

Spencer served four and a half years in prison from May 2005 to December 2009.

Anyone with any information on Spencer’s location is asked to contact the Surry County Sheriff’s Office at 336-401-8900 or Surry County 911 Communications at 336-374-3000.


Spencer is well known by local authorities, having been arrested several times.

Spencer was served a warrant July 6 for simple possession of a schedule II drug, dated May 20, for the Dobson Police Department.

Before that, he was arrested in May on the charge of failure to appear in court on a habitual-felon case.

In November 2015, Spencer pleaded guilty by Alford decision in Surry County Superior Court to submitting false information to a sex-offender registry, simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting a public officer.

He was given an intermediate sentence of 32 days’ confinement and was credited for 32 days served.

At that time, Spencer was ordered to complete 36 months of unsupervised probation with conditions that he not violate any North Carolina laws, file all papers and documents required by sex-offender registry laws and to not use alcohol or illegal substances.


Spencer also has several charges coming up in court in the next month and a half.

On Feb. 2 he faces two counts of driving while license revoked (not impaired), expired license plate, two counts of driving with no car insurance, driving with no registration, and having a fictitious or altered registration/plate.

On Feb. 16 the charges are driving with no registration, driving with no car insurance and allowing an unlicensed person to drive.

On Feb. 19 the charge is felony conspiracy.

On May 2 he faces counts of driving while license revoked (not impaired) and having a canceled/revoked license plate.


By Jeff Linville

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

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