Two North Carolina residents were sentenced in Greensboro on Tuesday for drug trafficking in Rowan County, according to a release from the office of U.S. Attorney Matthew Martin.
Fifty-three-year-old Alfredo Arias Bello, aka Alfredo Arias Vello, of Yadkinville, and Rodolfo Vargas-Benitez, aka Luciano Varga Benitez, 37, of Mocksville plead guilty to distributing approximately 1.8 ounces or more of methamphetamine, the release said.
Bello was sentenced to a 60-month term, while Vargas-Benitez received a 72-month sentence, Martin said. Both were ordered to report to immigration authorities after discharge from the Bureau of Prison and to serve a term of supervised release once their sentences were completed.
The release cited court documents from late 2017, stating a confidential informant told law enforcement he could purchase large quantities of methamphetamine from a suspect later identified as Bello. Documents said Bello was contacted by the CI on Jan. 16, 2018, and set up a purchase for two ounces of methamphetamine.
At the meeting location, an undercover officer went with the informant and witnessed a white SUV occupied by two men approach their vehicle, the release said. The officer exchanged $1,300 for roughly 1.5 ounces of methamphetamine, the release states, and authorities used the same procedure three times to purchase methamphetamine from Bello. The purchases were made in Rowan on Feb. 1, April 18 and June 27, all in 2018.
Authorities said an additional purchase was made in Yadkinville on April 18, 2018.
At the June 27 purchase, Bello was seen meeting a second male, later identified as Vargas-Benitez. Bello reportedly told the informant that Vargas-Benitez was his supplier.
Officers performing surveillance moved in and arrested both suspects, and searched both vehicles driven to the meeting, the release said. Officers found money used to purchase methamphetamine in the center console of Bello’s car, and Vargas-Benitez’s vehicle contained a purse with even more methamphetamine, authorities stated.
A small amount of methamphetamine was found in the front pocket of Vargas-Benitez’s clothing as well, the rleease states.
The case was investigated by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department, Salisbury Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Mocksville Police Department and Yadkinville Police Department. Prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Terry Meinecke.