Granite Falls Sentenced to 6 to 8 years in prison for human trafficking


Granite Falls’ 44-year-old Adam John Wheeler is sentenced to six to eight years in prison after being convicted of trafficking in opium or heroin. The Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Catawba County Supreme Court Justice, handed down the active sentence after Wheeler pleaded guilty to the Catawba County Supreme Court yesterday (May 27). The defendant was also fined a mandatory $ 50,000. Wheeler will serve his sentence in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

He was convicted after Hickory Police Department investigators learned that another party was selling prescription pills (opiates) to the defendant. Wheeler met with this person on November 20, 2018 at his workplace, a local bar.

After Wheeler and the other people broke up, investigators stopped them both. The defendant was in possession of a large number of tablets and a large amount of cash. During an interview with investigators, he admitted that he bought and sold the pain medication.

Prior to Wheeler’s arrest, HPD received numerous tips and complaints from community members and executives about his actions at the bar he was working on. Investigators conducted a three-month surveillance operation and watched Wheeler buy and sell opiates at the bar.

The person who sold the pills to Wheeler has been charged on the same charge but has not yet appeared in the Supreme Court.

Sergeant Jeffrey Jenkins led the investigation for the Hickory Police Department. Assistant District Attorney Jessica Phillips is pursuing the matter for the state.

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