Matthews man convicted of trafficking heroin, sentenced to over 37 years

Published 10:12 am Thursday, October 4, 2018

SALISBURY — A Matthews man was convicted in Rowan County this week of trafficking in heroin and sentenced to more than 37 years in prison.

Gerardo Juarez, 40, was convicted by a jury in Criminal Superior Court on four counts of felony trafficking in heroin by possession and transportation and one count of felony conspiracy to traffic in heroin.

Judge David Hall sentenced Juarez to two consecutive sentences of the mandatory minimum of 225 months to a maximum of 282 months in prison for a total sentence of 37 and a half years to 47 years. Juarez also was fined $500,000.

On Jan. 20, 2017, a witness working with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office that he bought a green balloon containing 42 grams of heroin from Juarez in the parking lot of Walmart in Salisbury for $2,500 in Sheriff’s Office money.

On Jan. 30, a witness planned to buy heroin from Juarez at Walmart. When Juarez arrived, detectives arrested him and found a balloon containing 52 grams of heroin in his coat pocket.

The State Crime Lab analyzed the substances and confirmed that it was heroin.

District Attorney Brandy Cook thanked Assistant District Attorney Barrett Poppler for his work on the case, along with the Sheriff’s Office for its investigation.

Cook said her office continues to prioritize cases involving trafficking large amounts of heroin since the drug continues to have a destructive impact on the community.