73-year-old sentenced to 10 years in prison for heroin trafficking

Published 8:33 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018

SALISBURY — A 73-year-old Salisbury man was convicted Thursday of trafficking in heroin and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Henry Herman Blankenship, 73, has been in the Rowan County Detention Center since his November 2014 arrest.

He was convicted in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of three counts of felony trafficking in heroin; two counts of felony selling a Schedule II controlled substance; and three counts of felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a Schedule II controlled substance.

Judge Eric Levinson sentenced Blankenship to a minimum of 90 months to a maximum of 120 months in prison and a minimum $100,000 fine.

Detectives with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office negotiated with Blankenship for the purchase of oxycodone, authorities said.

On Aug. 26, 2014, an undercover officer purchased 15 oxycodone pills from Blankenship for $300. On Sept. 25, 2014, an undercover officer purchased 12 oxycodone pills from Blankenship for $300.

On Nov. 24, 2014, an undercover officer purchased a full bottle of oxycodone pills from Blankenship for $3,600. After that transaction, he was arrested.

At the time of the offenses, Blankenship was on post-release supervision from prison for 1992 convictions on charges of second-degree murder and kidnapping in Iredell County. Blankenship had been released by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety in 2012 after serving 23 years in prison.

Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook thanked the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office for a thorough investigation in the case.

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