Local, federal officials charge 3 with drug trafficking

Published 12:09 pm Friday, October 21, 2016

Three Rowan County residents have been arrested and charged following an investigation into a heroin trafficking operation.

Fcing multiple charges are Jarvis Lamont “Star” Pate, Kimberly Michelle Guske and James Arthur Smith face a variety of drug and trafficking charges. Pate is being held under $1 million bond. Both Pate and Smith have long criminal histories.

In September, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office began investigating a heroin trafficking operation headed by Pate, 35, a convicted felon with a long criminal history. Pate, lived at 130 Vista Drive, Salisbury, with a North Carolina Department of Corrections official.

On Sept. 16,  21 and 28 and Oct. 7, investigators, using cooperating witnesses, bought quantities of heroin from Pate in the parking lots of businesses in Rowan County.

On Oct. 13 and 18, investigators, using cooperating witnesses, bought quantities of heroin from Kimberly Michelle Guske,  37, a resident of 5110 Old Concord Road. It was learned during the investigation that Guske was getting heroin from Pate. Investigators also observed Pate going to and from Guske’s residence.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, the Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the Salisbury Police Department and the United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) established surveillance around 5110 Old Concord Road and observed Pate going to and from the residence in a black 1998 Honda Accord.

The Sheriff’s Office obtained search warrants for both residences, as well as multiple vehicles including the Honda Accord. The Accord was stopped on Webb Road by surveillance officers, where Pate was arrested.

A subsequent search resulted in approximately 12 grams of “China White” heroin being found concealed in Pate’s underwear. After the traffic stop, the two search warrants were executed by tactical teams with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and other personnel.

At the residence at 5110 Old Concord Road, investigators discovered 3 grams of methamphetamine ice, suspected heroin, scales and other drug paraphernalia, to include used and unused needles consistent with intravenous drug use.

Kimberly Guske was arrested inside the residence. In the driveway, another individual was encountered, James Arthur Smith, 45, a resident of 359 S. Fisherman Lane. Around 1 gram of suspected heroin was found on Smith’s person, along with needles consistent with intravenous drug use. Additionally, in the trunk of Smith’s vehicle was approximately 33 grams of methamphetamine ice. Smith was also arrested.

During the search of 130 Vista Drive, investigators discovered approximately 1 gram of suspected heroin on the master bedroom floor. A burnt marijuana blunt was found on top of a refrigerator in the master bedroom.

Around 21 grams of “dab” (marijuana) was in the master bedroom refrigerator. In the master bedroom closet was a safe which contained two handguns, one loaded, loose ammunition and $5,700 in cash. In the same closet was another loaded handgun and an electronic scale. The key to the safe had been found earlier in the possession of Pate.

Pate was charged with three counts of possess with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver heroin; one count of possess with intent to sell and deliver marijuana; two counts of trafficking heroin by possession; one count of trafficking heroin by transportation; one count of keeping and maintaining a dwelling that was used for keeping and selling controlled substances; and one count of possession of firearm by felon. Pate was placed under a $1,000,000 secured bond. Additional charges are pending.

Guske was charged with two counts of possess with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver heroin. Guske was placed under a $10,000 secured bond. Additional charges are pending.

Smith was charged with one count of possession of heroin and one count of trafficking methamphetamine. Smith was placed under a $10,000 secured bond.

Smith has an extensive criminal history and was convicted on Sept. 30, 2013, in Rowan County Superior Court of possession of firearm by felon. Smith received a term of 36 months supervised probation.

On April 17, 2009, Smith was convicted in Rowan County Superior Court of possession of cocaine.  Smith received a term of 24 months of supervised probation.

On Nov. 17, 1995, in Davidson County Superior Court, Smith was convicted of breaking and or entering, larceny after breaking and entering and felony larceny. Smith received a sentence of 5 years supervised probation. Smith has numerous other convictions for assault on female, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, driving offenses, among others.

Pate has a massive criminal history and was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Scotland County Superior Court on Feb. 1, 2010, and received a sentence of 77-122 months.

On Oct. 8, 2004, Pate was convicted in Scotland County Superior Court of three counts of sell/deliver cocaine and received three consecutive 12-15 month sentences.

On May 2, 2003, in Scotland County Superior Court, Pate was convicted of felonious restraint and received 36 months of supervised probation. On Oct. 13, 1998, Pate was convicted in Scotland County Superior Court of possess with intent to sell/deliver cocaine and received 36 months probation.

Pate has numerous arrests for drugs, driving, possession of firearm by felon, assault on a female, resisting public officers, probation violations, carrying concealed guns, and possessing stolen goods, among others.

Pate’s possession of firearms will be referred to the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the United States Attorney’s Office-Middle District of North Carolina for possible federal prosecution.

Charges against any other persons will be reviewed with state prosecutors.

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