Union Co. charter school coach killed in shootout involving drug cartel in N.C.

Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 2:13 PM EDT
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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A Union County charter school teacher-coach was killed in a shootout involving a drug cartel in North Carolina.

The incident happened at a mobile home park on Wyatt Road Lot 27 in Green Level, North Carolina on Thursday, April 8 at 12:52 a.m.

Alamance County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and found two people shot inside the trailer.

Barney Dale Harris was pronounced dead at the scene, and Alonso Beltran Lara was taken to a local hospital, but later passed away from his injuries.

Barney Harris was a teacher and coach at Union Academy Charter School. The school provided a statement after news broke of the incident

.”Union Academy’s first priority is caring for and protecting our students and staff. Earlier today, law enforcement released details about last week’s death of one of our teachers, Barney Dale Harris II. The Union Academy family was shocked and devastated to hear the information and will continue to focus on supporting our students and families. Any questions about the investigation should be directed to law enforcement,” the statement read.

Alamance County Sheriff’s Office detectives processed the crime scene gathering evidence, and have determined that both men (Harris and Lara) were a part of separate criminal enterprises.

The sheriff says Lara was believed to be a drug runner for the Sinaloa New Generation Cartel and the trailer was believed to be the stash house.

Investigators believe Harris and a team of people were at the home to steal drugs and money. At some point, deputies say there was a shootout leading to the deaths of Harris and Lara.

During the course of the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office seized 1.2 kilograms of suspected cocaine, five guns and about $7,000 in cash.

N.C. sheriff discusses criminal investigation

Alamance County deputies say a burglary involving a drug cartel left two men dead - Union Academy Charter School teacher Barney Harris and 18-year-old Alonzo Beltran Lara.

Posted by WBTV News on Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Two vehicles that were involved in the incident were also found - one in Guilford County and one in Alamance County.

Another person connected to the crime, Steven Alexander Stewart, Jr., was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary in relation to the Wyatt Road incident on Sunday, April 11 at 1 a.m.

On Monday, April 12, Stewart was charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. He is being held in the Alamance County Detention Center without bond and had a first appearance in court on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 2:00 p.m.

Juan Daniel Salinas Lara is wanted in reference to this case and has active warrants for trafficking in cocaine.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office at 336-570-6300 to speak with a member of the Criminal Investigation Division or report anonymously by calling Alamance County CrimeStoppers at 336-229-7100 or by downloading the mobile app, P3Tips.

This case is ongoing and additional charges are possible from the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office to includeothers who were also involved.

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