Rockwell man charged after drug trafficking sting

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Grady Edward Austin, Jr.

ROCKWELL, N.C. — An arrest has been made after numerous complaints about drug sales in Rockwell.

Grady Edward Austin, Jr., 57, was arrested and charged with trafficking heroin by possession and felony maintaining a dwelling to keep and sell controlled substances.

Over the last several years, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office had received a multitude of complaints from the public regarding heroin and methamphetamine sales occurring at 375 Nazareth Home Road in Rockwell. At one point, signs were posted on telephone poles in the area advertising the drug sales. Multiple drug overdoses have been reported at the residence since 2013.

In June 2015, the Sheriff’s Office began making controlled drug purchases from Austin.

In May 2016, they learned that Austin and another individual were obtaining the drugs from Mexican National drug suppliers in the metro Charlotte area, and distributing them at the Rockwell residence.

A search warrant was executed at the residence on June 9, assisted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Salisbury Police Department.

Ten individuals were discovered inside, with at least one actively injecting heroin, while Austin was found in a locked bedroom in possession of approximately 47 grams of “Mexican Brown” and “Black Tar” heroin.

Several firearms were located in a closet and locked safe. Police seized over $2,000 in cash, assorted ammunition, marijuana, and 37 valium tablets.

Austin’s bond was set at $2 million. He faces a potential sentence of 225-282 months and a fine of $500,000. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges have yet to be filed.