Mexican Heroin Cartel Operating in North Carolina

By Andrew Eicher | February 21, 2017 | 11:41am EST

Some of the drugs and guns seized

by police in the Rowan County

arrests.  (Rowan County Police Dept.)

( Rowan County police disrupted a heroin ring operated by a Mexican drug cartel earlier this month, providing more evidence of illicit Mexican drug trafficking far beyond the border, Judicial Watch reports.

The Drug Enforcement Administration notes that Mexican traffickers are “making a concerted effort to increase heroin availability” in the United States.

Police arrested three people and confiscated large quantities of heroin, handguns, a rifle, ammunition, telephones, cash, and drug paraphernalia. The trafficking ring had supplied heroin to the Rowan County area for more than a decade.

The suspects, Hugo Fernando Navarrete-Lopez, 27, Darya Sergeyevna Borovkaya, 26, and Gerardo Juarez, 39, were in direct communication with cartel members in Mexico and used fraudulent registration plates and aliases to conceal their identities, authorities determined. Documents obtained at Juarez’s home detailed tens of thousands of dollars in drug sales. 

Suspects Gerardo Juarez and Darya Borovkaya. (Rowan County Police Department)


As reported in the Charlotte Observer, “Federal authorities are trying to determine the true identities of Juarez and Navarrete-Lopez, the sheriff’s statement said. The investigation to date shows Juarez previously entered the United States around 2005 under another name.” 

The increased production and trafficking of heroin by Mexican cartels has fueled an increase of its use in the United States over the past several years, the Congressional Research Service reported last August.

Heroin seizures in the Mexican border region more than doubled from 1,016kg in 2010 to 2,524kg in 2015, the report stated.

Accordingly, the number of people sentenced for heroin trafficking offenses in U.S. District Courts increased by nearly 50% from 2011 to 2015. The report referred to western states as a “heroin transit zone,” as the majority of heroin smuggled into the United States  “transits across the Southwest border.”

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