Matthews man sentenced to decades in prison for ‘high level’ drug trafficking in Rowan County

Matthews man sentenced to decades in prison for ‘high level’ drug trafficking in Rowan County

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Gerardo Juarez of Matthews was convicted by a jury this week in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of four counts of felony trafficking in heroin by possession and transportation and one count of felony conspiracy to traffic in heroin by possession and transportation, according to District Attorney Brandy Cook.

Following the jury’s verdict, Judge David Hall sentenced Juarez to two consecutive sentences of the mandatory minimum of 225 months to a mandatory maximum of 282 months in prison for a total prison sentence of 450 months (37.5 years) to 564 months (47 years), and also ordered a mandatory minimum fine of $500,000.

The facts of the case as presented in court showed that on January 20, 2017, a cooperating witness with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office purchased a green balloon containing 42 grams of heroin from Juarez in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Salisbury in exchange for $2500 from Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Special Funds.

Prior to the exchange, detectives searched the cooperating witness to ensure drugs were not located in the witness’ possession.

Detectives provided surveillance and the cooperating witness immediately turned over the heroin to detectives. On January 30, 2017, a cooperating witness planned to purchase heroin from Juarez in the parking lot of Walmart in Salisbury.

When Juarez arrived, detectives arrested him and located a balloon containing 52 grams of heroin in his coat pocket. The NC State Crime Lab analyzed the substances collected and confirmed trafficking amounts of heroin.

Cook thanked Assistant District Attorney Barrett Poppler in the preparation of the case for trial, along with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office thorough investigation.

Cook stated that her office continues to prioritize cases involving trafficking amounts of heroin since the illegal drug continues to have a destructive impact on our community.

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