An Avery County man leading a chase into McDowell in a stolen truck was charged after local officers apprehended him and located drugs on his person, authorities said Friday.

Deputy Kenneth Burleson of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged Leland Wesley Penfield, 31, address listed as Bigstone Lane in Newland, with possession of methamphetamine, injury to real property, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

At approximately 12:40 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8, Burleson and other deputies with the Sheriff’s Office, troopers with the N.C. Highway Patrol and officers with Marion Police Department were involved in a pursuit of a stolen truck that began in Avery County.

They followed the suspect from U.S. 221 North to U.S. 221 South and onto Rockwell Drive, where the truck rammed through a closed gate and came to a stop.

Penfield, the driver, was taken into custody, and a subsequent search of his person revealed drug paraphernalia, .50 gram of methamphetamine and six Klonopin pills.

Penfield also faces charges in Avery County and from the Highway Patrol. His bond was set at $45,000.

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