FORSYTH COUNTY, NC (The Winston-Salem Journal) – A Winston-Salem man was convicted Thursday on charges that he was trafficking more than 32 ounces of heroin, according to a news release from the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office.
Jose Antonio Flores-Rico, 36, of the 2100 block of East First Street, pleaded guilty in Forsyth Superior Court to trafficking in heroin by possession, trafficking in heroin by transportation, conspiring to traffic in heroin and several other felony drug charges.
Judge David Hall of Forsyth Superior Court consolidated the charges and handed down a sentence of a minimum of 18 years and nine months to a maximum of 23 years and six months in prison. Hall also ordered Flores-Rico to pay a $500,000 fine.
Assistant District Attorney Penn Broyhill prosecuted the case. Winston-Salem lawyer Terrence Hines represented Flores-Rico. Hines declined to comment when reached Friday.
According to a search warrant, Winston-Salem police started investigating in June 2018 after the arrest of another man, James William Welch, who was accused of having heroin and fetanyl. Welch identified the man who sold him the drugs as Flores-Rico.
Through Welch, Winston-Salem police arranged a drug transaction.
The next day, Winston-Salem police took Flores-Rico into custody after Flores-Rico tried to get rid of a package containing an ounce of heroin in the parking lot of the Family Dollar store on Peters Creek Parkway.
Later, Winston-Salem police executed a search warrant at Flores-Rico’s house on East First Street and seized 35 grams of heroin, a hand gun and more than $27,000 in cash. Police also seized other drug paraphernalia, the search warrant said.