ROWAN COUNTY, NC (FOX 46) - A three year investigation uncovered a drug pipeline from the Mexican cartels to the Charlotte area. Thousands of dollars in cash, guns and lots of drugs were found, the most ever in Rowan County.
A local Walmart parking lot is just one of the spots investigators said the Mexican cartel distribution ring used to sell its drugs.
The heroin was flowing from Salisbury into Charlotte.
“It’s really embarrassing for this town, for this community,” a local resident said. “It’s just surprised that you would think that would be happening right here in Rowan.”
Investigators bought drugs from the cartel in restaurant bathrooms and shopping center parking lots.
Warrants show they uncovered 478 grams of heroin, ammo, cash, ledgers and drug paraphernalia. A Rowan County teacher believes the interstate is making access easier.
“Heroin is becoming more of a rural problem and I guess with 85 making great access it could happen, and it did happen. You can just hop on 85 and go from here to Charlotte or here to Greensboro and there you go.”
Gerardo Juarez was arrested in a Salisbury Walmart parking lot. Investigators said he had 52 grams of heroin on him.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of killing and a lot of drug activity going on lately within the last few years and it’s crazy but I think that we should be doing more.”
Darya Borovskaya and Juarez are charged with multiple counts of trafficking heroin and conspiracy to traffic heroin in Rowan County.
Hugo Navarrete-Lopez is charged with trafficking heroin in Mecklenburg County. All three have million dollar bonds and face more than 23 years in prison.
“They say it can only get worse but you never know you got to just crack down on those people and get them out of here.”
Officials said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.