ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. -- Rowan County Sheriff's office says a massive heroin bust has ties to a Mexican trafficking ring based in the Charlotte-Matthews area.

After a three-year-long federal, state and local heroin trafficking investigation, the Rowan County Sheriff's office arrested Mecklenburg County residents Tuesday.

Information led investigators to the discovery that a Mexican National heroin trafficking ring had been supplying heroin to Rowan County for over 10 years, some transactions involving quantities of up to $10,000 worth of drugs at a time.

While undercover, investigators purchased large amounts of heroin from two individuals in December. They say one exchange took place in a bathroom while others occurred in parking lots.

Rowan County Sheriff's Office says they arrested 39-year-old Gerardo Juarez, a Matthews resident, in a Walmart Parking lot. Juarez had 52 grams of heroin in his possession at the time of arrest. Further investigation revealed Juarez entered the U.S. in 2005 under another name.

Simultaneously a search warrant was obtained and executed at a nearby Matthews residence. Officers found 478 grams of heroin, two handguns, one rifle, ammunition and other items utilized in drug trafficking.

Darya Sergeyevna Borovskaya, 26, and Fernando Navarrette-Lopez, 27, were also arrested for their involvement.

All three suspects were charged with drug-trafficking related crimes and were placed under bonds of $1,000,000 and face potential penalties of 18.75 to 23.25 years in prison.

Gerardo Juarez (Photo: Rowan County Sheriff's Office)
Darya Borosykaya (Photo: Rowan County Sheriff's Office)