Catawba Jury Finds Conover Man Guilty Of Drug Offenses

A Conover man will serve nearly nine to 11 years in prison after a Catawba County jury found him guilty of drug offenses, and he admitted to his status as a habitual felon.

Derrick Shay Bishop, 40, was found guilty of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, to wrap up a trial that lasted two and a half days,

The Honorable Gregory R. Hayes, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, imposed the sentence for Bishop after the jury delivered its verdict following approximately 45 minutes of deliberation.

Bishop’s prison sentence was enhanced by his habitual felon status that included prior convictions for financial card theft in Alleghany County (May 2014), possession of controlled substance on prison/jail premises in Caldwell County (July 2011) and breaking/entering in Catawba County (September 2002).

The defendant will serve his period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

The trial started on Monday, August 7 with jury selection. Following opening statements and evidence presentation on Tuesday, attorneys for the State and defense gave closing arguments on Wednesday before the case went to the jury.

On September 11, 2021, an officer from Conover Police Department responded to a report of an unconscious, suspicious person parked at a gas pump at a convenience store.

When the officer made contact with the defendant, he saw digital scales with a white, crystal-like substance in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Bishop admitted to using Suboxone earlier that day and that he was on probation out of Caldwell County.

 A search of the defendant turned up a pill bottle from his pants pocket that contained methamphetamine, Alprazolam and Suboxone along with plastic bags. Bishop was arrested and placed in custody at that time.

The case was investigated by Conover Police Department. Assistant District Attorney Hayden Duncan handled prosecution for the State, with aid provided by Legal Assistant Britnee Ulsamer.