Southern Pines Police were responding to a fight Saturday afternoon on Haley Street when one of the suspects fled the scene in his car.  The police engaged in a vehicle pursuit and stopped the car on Rothney Avenue.  Howard Earl Smith, 58, of Southern Pines was taken into custody without incident.

“Recovered from the front seat of the vehicle was a loaded pump action 12 gauge shotgun,” said Southern Pines Police Department in a news release.  “Additionally, a Taser was also found in the vehicle. Howard Earl Smith has a prior felony conviction for felony possession of cocaine and therefore is prohibited by law to possess any firearm.”

Smith was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle.

The suspect’s bond was set at $10,000 and is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

“The Southern Pines Police Department will be working with our federal law enforcement partners, specifically the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, to conduct a history trace on the recovered firearm to determine if additional charges need to be filed against Howard Earl Smith locally or in the Federal Criminal Justice System,” said the department.



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