Federal authorities are assisting Wake County deputies with two arrests in Burke County Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement sources confirmed to Channel 9.
Reporter Dave Faherty was at the scene on Interstate 40 where the two people were taken into custody. Faherty later saw the two people being taken into the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. He said there were a dozen federal marshals, and FBI and SBI agents, at the sheriff’s office.
According to sources, North Carolina Highway Patrol made a traffic stop after receiving information on two separate vehicles being in Burke County. The cars were heading westbound together but then separated when troopers got close. Authorities then waited until they were west of Morganton, in a more rural area, before making the stop.
A family member told Channel 9 that the men stopped are brothers -- Alder and Auturo Marin Sotelo.
Channel 9 has reached out to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office to learn if the arrests are connection to the deputy who was shot and killed last week.
According to WRAL in Raleigh, the arrests are in connection to the deputy’s murder.
Deputy Ned Byrd was fatally shot on a dark section of Battle Bridge Road, but it was not immediately clear why he stopped there, sheriff’s office spokesperson Eric Curry said. Byrd had responded to a domestic call less than a mile away earlier in the night, then entered his notes into the system, he said.
On Monday, the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the killing of Byrd.
According to court documents, Alder Marin Sotelo committed a federal offense by being in the country illegally after state troopers said they found a loaded firearm during a traffic stop in 2021. But his cousin who grew up with the two brothers doesn’t believe the two men have any connection to the deadly shooting of Byrd.
“We grow up together. They are nice. Alder is a nice person. I don’t think he would kill nobody,” the cousin said.
Channel 9 also learned one of the license tags from the traffic stops came back to a business owned by a family member in Winston-Salem. Faherty checked and the business was no longer at that residence.
At this point, neither man has been charged in connection with the Wake County shooting.
(WATCH BELOW: Deputy killed in Wake County was 13-year veteran of department; suspect on the loose, sheriff says)