GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - New details were revealed about the search warrants executed last month on the Catawba County Sheriff's Office during the public portion of a court hearing held Thursday afternoon.
The hearing comes after a coalition of media organizations, including WBTV, filed legal action earlier this week asking a judge to unseal the warrants.
Agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation executed the warrants on April 19 as part of an investigation into Jason Reid, the son of current sheriff Coy Reid who is a former captain with the sheriff's office and currently running to replace his father in the top job.
The investigation began after an ex-girlfriend of Reid found a GPS tracking device on her vehicle. She told WBTV in an exclusive interview that she found the device after Reid repeatedly sent her text messages of her location and, once, a picture of her parked car.
During Thursday's hearing, an attorney with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office, who is prosecuting the case, revealed that the investigation currently includes potential crimes committed in multiple counties.
The attorney also said agents had executed other search warrants as part of the investigation before the April 19 warrants executed on the sheriff's office but, the attorney said, those warrants were sealed.
An attorney for Coy Reid said in open court that the search warrants included the address of the sheriff's office's narcotics building, which, the attorney said, is used as a covert facility to conduct investigations.
There was no further explanation as to why the facility's address was included in the search warrant.
A judge sitting in Catawba County sealed the warrants on the day they were executed after an attorney for the sheriff asked the judge they be made secret.
The request was made without the knowledge of other interested parties and not in writing.
When WBTV attempted to locate documents related to the sealing of the warrants, the judge issued a second order sealing the order that sealed the search warrants.
The judge who presided over Thursday's hearing did not immediately enter a ruling but attorneys for the media coalition said the judge hoped to issue a ruling within the coming days.