Rockwell man sentenced to almost 19 years in prison

Rockwell man sentenced to almost 19 years in prison
(Rowan Sheriff's Office)

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Grady Edward Austin, Jr. of Rockwell was convicted yesterday in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of two counts of felony trafficking in heroin by possession and transportation and one count of conspiracy to traffic in heroin.

Judge Lori Hamilton sentenced Austin, Jr. to a minimum of 225 months (18.75 years) to a maximum of 282 months (23.5 years) in prison, and ordered a fine of $500,000 against him.

During the course of an ongoing investigation, detectives with the Rowan County Sheriff's Office began making controlled purchases of heroin and methamphetamine from Austin, Jr.  On June 9, 2016, the Rowan County Sheriff's Office, assisted by the NCSBI and the Salisbury Police Department, executed a search warrant at a residence in Rockwell where Austin, Jr. was located.

Detectives discovered approximately 47 grams of heroin in Austin, Jr.'s pants pocket, along with over $2,000 in U.S. Currency, firearms, ammunition, and marijuana in the residence.

Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook thanked Assistant District Attorney Barrett Poppler and the Rowan County Sheriff's Office in seeing that Austin, Jr. was brought to justice.  Cook stated that her office will continue to hold those who sell illegal narcotics accountable for their actions.

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