Rowan teen arrested again; pregnant girlfriend also charged

slyttle@charlotteobserver.comApril 24, 2014 

A Rowan County teen who was out on $1 million bond has been arrested again on drug charges, authorities say.

Also charged was the suspect’s girlfriend, who sheriff’s deputies say is more than eight months pregnant.

Brandon Lee Rumple, 19, of Kannapolis, was arrested Wednesday at his father’s house after allegedly fleeing from authorities. Also charged in the case was 25-year-old Tasha Nichole Simpson, who deputies said is Rumple’s girlfriend.

It is at least the fifth arrest for Rumple since April 2012.

Investigators said they were watching Rumple after getting information that he had been seen in an area of Charlotte known as a distribution point for heroin. Deputies set up surveillance around a residence in the 3200 block of Patterson Road in Rowan County and began following a green Honda they saw leaving the house Wednesday.

Deputies said they determined that Simpson was driving and Rumple was a passenger in the car.

According to deputies, when Simpson and Rumple reached the Enochville area, they apparently became aware that they were being watched by authorities. Deputies said they saw Simpson break several traffic laws and then observed Rumple dump a powdery substance and a plastic bag from the car.

Investigators said the car stopped at a residence on Carter Street in Kannapolis. They said Rumple got out of the car and tossed a bag to his father, Christopher Todd Rumple, who had come out the front door.

Deputies said the father then ran back into the house. According to investigators, Christopher Todd Rumple later told authorities he had flushed the bag down the toilet.

Deputies said they were able to recover some of the powder from Brandon Rumple’s face and clothing, and they said they found a torn plastic bag on a street. The bag contained 2 grams of a powder that tested positive for MDMA, a drug also known as ecstasy.

Investigators said they also found 12 grams of black tar heroin hidden in Simpson’s crotch area.

Rumple was charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver MDMA; resisting delaying and obstructing a public officer; altering and destroying evidence; and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was jailed under $2.5 million bond.

Simpson was charged with two counts of trafficking heroin; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver heroin; fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement; and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was jailed under $250,000 bond.

The Sheriff’s Office said additional charges are pending.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle

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