Man charged with meth trafficking appears to be Cree worker who greeted Obama

rgallagher@newsobserver.comJune 25, 2013 

— Police late Sunday filed drug trafficking and conspiracy charges against a Wake Forest man who apparently is a manager at Cree, Inc., and had a role in President Barack Obama’s visits to the lighting company in 2008 and 2011.

David Matthew Jones, 40, of 5122 Royal Coachmen Drive was arrested about 11:30 p.m. at Six Forks Road and the Interstate 440 Beltline, according to a police arrest report.

The report said he listed his occupation as “manager” and his employer as Cree.

Cree’s spokeswoman, Gina Fiegel, did not return calls asking if the man arrested is the David Jones to whom Obama referred in a speech to employees on June 13, 2011.

Arrest warrants served on Jones about three hours after he was stopped accuse him of trafficking in methamphetamine, saying he had “less than 200 grams,” and of conspiring with Richard William Mankhey, 33, of Arlington, Va., to traffic in the drug.

Police arrested Mankhey at the dead end of East Six Forks Road, east of Atlantic Avenue, about 35 minutes after they arrested Jones, according to a second arrest report.

They charged Mankhey with conspiracy to traffic in methamphetamine.

State law sets 28 to 200 grams of methamphetamine as defining one category of trafficking felony and specifies a prison term of 70 to 93 months for a conviction.

Obama mentioned David Jones and sought him out in the audience when the president spoke at Cree two years ago.

Obama said that during his visit, “someone in the plant showed me a picture of the two of us together” during a May, 5, 2008, campaign stop at Cree, and that photo is shown in an online Cree video about the 2011 visit.

Obama recalled during the most-recent visit that in 2008, the Jones he had met Jones “talked about how, even with a good job at a great company, it was getting tougher for working people to provide for their families without having to cut corners,” according to the White House account of the Cree visit.

Referring to the 2008 conversation, Obama recounted, “What he said was, ‘Where am I squeezing that balloon to make sure that my family has a life; that we’re moving forward; that we’re progressing?’”

Obama said, “Now that day, a wonderful man gave me a heck of an introduction” to Cree’s operation.

“I got to see David looking at the new LED production line – which he now runs, by the way,” Obama said

Jones was being held in lieu of $200,000 bail after a court appearance Monday.

Mankhey was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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