LEE COUNTY, N.C. (WNCN) – A traffic stop on Tuesday led to a high-speed vehicle chase and resulted in three people being arrested, according to Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Agents tried to conduct a traffic stop on US 421 near Kelly Drive, which resulted in a high-speed vehicle chase, the sheriff says.
The vehicle drove away from deputies through Lee County, Chatham County and Harnett County. The chase lasted around 30 minutes and ended near the Harnett County Courthouse in Lillington.
Before the chase ended, the vehicle on the move struck a Lee County Narcotics Agent’s patrol car head-on. The driver of the vehicle, 43-year-old Leilani Honay Criswell, was found shortly after the collision. The Harnett County Sheriff’s Office and Lillington Police Department assisted during this chase, the sheriff says.
Criswell was found to be a fugitive from justice and was wanted out of Missouri.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Criswell was charged with the following:
- Felony Flee to Elude Arrest
- Driving While License Revoked
- Displaying Fictitious Tag
- Resisting Public Officer
- Failure to Stop at Stop Sign
- Center Lane Violation
- Exceeding Posted Speed
- Improper Use of Traffic Lane
- Charged with being a Fugitive from Justice
Criswell was also charged by the Lillington Police Department with Assault on a Government Official. Criswell was taken to the Lee County Detention Center with no bond.
More investigation discovered that the vehicle in the chase was also involved in a larceny that had previously occurred in Lee County, the sheriff says.
On Wednesday after the investigation, Lee County Detectives along with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team conducted a search warrant at 1740 Nicholson Road in Sanford, the sheriff says. The search warrant led to several stolen items being found inside the residence and on the property.
The stolen items consisted of:
- Multiple firearms
- A stolen motor vehicle from Moore County
- Stolen motor vehicle parts
- Stolen items that were taken from a water treatment plant in Lee County
The Department of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau responded and discovered another stolen car from Chatham County.
An additional search warrant was obtained by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Detective after the stolen items were recovered. At the next location, detectives found remains of a stolen car from Carolina Water Services, a stolen UTV from Courtland Drive, and another stolen vehicle from Harnett County.
33-year-old Brian Keith Smith Jr. of 1740 Nicholson Road was arrested and charged with the following:
- Possession of Firearm by Felon
- Two counts of Larceny of Motor Vehicle
- Possession of Stolen Motor Vehicles
- Felonious Breaking and Entering
- Felonious Breaking and Entering into a Motor Vehicle
- Permitting a place to be used as a chop shop
- Altering/Destroying Stolen Motor Vehicle Parts
- Two counts of Possession of Stolen Goods
- Misdemeanor Larceny
Smith was taken to the Lee County Detention Facility under a $130,000 secured bond, the sheriff says.
35-year-old Devin Robinson of 1740 Nicholson Road was arrested and charged with:
- Possession of Firearm by Felon
- Altering/Removing a Serial Number on a Firearm
Robinson was also discovered to be a fugitive from justice who was wanted out of Missouri for Burglary. Robinson was placed in the Lee County Detention Facility with no bond, the sheriff says.
Investigations are continuing in Lee County, Harnett County, Moore County, Chatham County, and by the Sanford Police Department. More charges are expected to follow.