Meth dealers who sold to undercover Rowan officer sentenced to prison

Published 3:19 pm Friday, May 31, 2019

GREENSBORO — Two men were sentenced to prison Tuesday for drug distribution in Rowan County in federal court in Greensboro.

Alfredo Arias Bello, also known as Alfredo Arias Bello, 53, of Yadkinville, and Rodolfo Vargas-Benitez, also known as Luciano Vargas Benitez, 37, of Mocksville, pleaded guilty to distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine in Rowan County.

U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina announced the sentencing by Judge Catherine C. Eagles on Friday.

Bello was sentenced to five years in prison and Vargas-Benitez was sentenced to six years.

In addition to the prison terms, both were ordered to report to immigration authorities for supervised release after completing their sentences.

According to documents filed in court, in late 2017, a confidential informant approached law enforcement officers and told them he could purchase methamphetamine from a man later identified as Bello.

The informant contacted Bello on Jan. 16, 2018, and arranged to purchase 2 ounces of meth. An undercover officer accompanied the informant during the transaction.

The informant and undercover officer saw a white SUV with two men inside approach their vehicle. The officer paid $1,300 for 43 grams of meth. Three additional purchases of meth were made from Bello, officials said.

Those purchases were on Feb. 1, 2018, when 56 grams was bought; April 18, 2018, when another 56 grams was bought; and June 27, 2018, when 116 grams was purchased. The February and June transactions took place in Rowan County; the April transaction was in Yadkinville.

The informant told Bello that for the June sale, his supplier would be in a second vehicle.

Bello was seen meeting with a Hispanic man, who was later identified as Vargas-Benitez. The undercover officer purchased 4 ounces of methamphetamine from Bello.

Law enforcement officers apprehended both Bello and Vargas-Benitez and searched their vehicles. The center console of Bello’s vehicle contained the money used to purchase the meth. Officers found more meth in Vargas-Benetez’s vehicle. A small amount of meth was found in Vargas-Benitez’s front pocket.

The case was investigated by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department, Salisbury Police Department, State Bureau of Investigation, Mocksville Police Department, and Yadkinville Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry M. Meinecke.