The Hickory Record
By Richard Gould
HICKORY, N.C. — A bag stuffed with approximately three ounces of crystal-clear methamphetamine — the type typically produced in Mexican superlabs — was taken off Hickory’s streets in a Catawba Valley Drug Task Force bust Saturday afternoon.
The three ounces of high-grade meth was worth up to $4,500 in bulk or up to $12,000 if it’s separated into individual units and sold on the streets. Officers also confiscated $3,900 in cash, said Lt. Jason Reid of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation began when local law enforcement began receiving numerous complaints about large amounts of methamphetamine being sold in and around the Dogwood Hills Mobile Home Park.
The Catawba Valley Drug Task Force, a combined unit composed of officers from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, Maiden Police Department and Homeland Security, conducted the operation.
“We have conducted hours and hours of surveillance and we have been able to identify several large scale drug traffickers,” said Lt. Jason Reid of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. “These are amounts that you can’t buy on the street corner. You have to have strong connections to the drug cartel to get this kind of weight.”
On Saturday afternoon officers spotted the suspect behind the wheel of a Lincoln Navigator. They knew he didn’t have a valid North Carolina drivers license and they followed him, Reid said.
They watched him go through the Wendy’s drive-thru on Fairgrove Church Road and buy a meal. Then they watched him come around the building and meet another person in a second car. When officers spotted a large amount of U.S. currency and a large amount of meth and drug paraphernalia they moved in and made an arrest, according to Reid.
Rodolfo Adame Guiterrez, 29, of 111 Herman Sipe Road unit 62 in Conover, was charged with three counts of trafficking methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle for the purpose of sell and delivering methamphetamine and child neglect. His bond was set at $225,000 secured. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.
Deputies escorted the suspect to a nearby vehicle to allow him to kiss his child and say, “I love you,” before they took him to jail. As the officers escorted him to the patrol vehicle the tattoo on his neck was clearly visible. The words written in black script were: “Play Now Pay Later.”
Reid had a message for the community: “Methamphetamine continues to be a growing problem in our community,” he said. “Everyone from the users all the way up to the traffickers – if you are involved in the use or trafficking of methamphetamine in Catawba County, you’re officially on our radar.”