Backyard hunting leads to drug charges against local couple
November 21, 2011
By Michael Barrett, GastonGazette.com
As Gil Rivera’s wife was returning home from her job as a
schoolteacher one night last week, she heard what sounded like gunfire
as she walked into the house.
Rivera was inside and heard it too, though he said they both brushed
it off and didn’t call police. But when told it might have been a
neighbor two houses down shooting deer in his backyard, inside the city
limits, Rivera voiced concern Monday.
“No, I don’t want that type of thing around here,” he said from his
driveway. “This has been a quiet neighborhood.”
Complaints from other neighbors about the backyard hunting prompted
police to visit the home Sunday, and the couple that lives there now
faces a slew of drug-related charges. David Lynn Peche Jr., 31, and wife
Laura Schronce Peche, 28, of 2608 Caswell Court, were arrested and
charged after police obtained search warrants and pored over their home
The house, which the Peches bought almost three years ago, is located
off Union Road in the Governors Square subdivision. The backyard
descends toward a wooded area and a creek, though several other homes
are visible about 200 yards away in a separate neighborhood on Pine
Knoll Court. Neighbors say deer are often visible walking through the
Gastonia police say they had received several complaints of David
Peche hunting with a firearm in the wooded area behind his home. When
officers went to speak with him about the allegations, they observed a
spotlight over a corn pile in the backyard, according to arrest warrants
When Peche refused to allow police to look over the area, they
obtained a search warrant and returned Sunday night. They found a
12-gauge shotgun and .35-caliber rifle, assorted pieces of hunting
clothing, deer hair and blood, and other evidence that Peche had been
hunting from his backyard, according to warrants.
Inside the home, police also found more than 16 grams of
hydromorphone pills outside of a prescription bottle, as well as
marijuana and drug paraphernalia in a desk drawer, according to
David Peche is a felon who has past convictions for assault
inflicting serious injury, simple assault, breaking and entering,
larceny, possession of stolen goods and other drug charges dating back
to 1997. Because of his status as a felon, he is not allowed to possess
David Peche was charged with trafficking opium or heroin, possession
of marijuana and paraphernalia, possession of a firearm by a felon and
hunting without a big game license.
Laura Peche was charged with trafficking opium or heroin, and
possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Theresa Neumayer, who lives next to the Peches, said she has
sometimes heard Peche shooting at targets in the backyard. But she
figured it was something he could do.
“It was so quiet, I thought it was maybe just a BB gun,” she said.
Paige Royston lives directly across Caswell Court from the Peches,
and said she and her husband have been friendly with the couple. She
said she also heard a gunshot one night about 8 p.m. a couple of weeks
ago, but thought nothing of it, and didn’t realize anyone might be
hunting so close by. She suspects the neighbors behind the Peches called
police, because the gunfire would’ve been more in their direction.
David Peche had back surgery some time ago, and his wife recently
broke her shoulder when their front porch swing broke and collapsed,
Royston said. She suspects the pain pills they had may have been related
“They just got caught in a bad situation I guess,” Royston said.
David Peche and Laura Peche were held at the Gaston County Jail on
bonds of $100,000 and $50,000, respectively. Two cars and a bass boat
were in the driveway Monday afternoon, though no one answered the door.
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