RIDGELAND, SC (Nov. 2, 2023) — A Jasper County drug dealer has been convicted of trafficking heroin and methamphetamine and sentenced to 25 years in prison following a two-day jury trial.
Juan Carlos Garcia Negrete, 53, of Hardeeville was found guilty Wednesday of trafficking heroin, trafficking methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and unlawful carrying of a pistol.
Negrete received 25 years for trafficking heroin; five years for trafficking methamphetamine, five years for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, five years for possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and one year for unlawfully carrying a pistol. The sentences are to be served concurrently.
“This defendant’s drug dealing undoubtedly destroyed countless lives within Jasper County and beyond,” said Trasi Campbell of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “A just verdict was rendered making our community safer with Mr. Negrete behind bars.”
Negrete was stopped by law enforcement Nov. 9, 2019, during a traffic checkpoint on Old House Road. Officers had Negrete pull over and searched his pickup truck after it was confirmed Negrete was driving under suspension. During a search of the truck, officers discovered two handguns – one loaded under the front passenger seat and a .45-caliber handgun in a backpack. Also in the backpack was about 3 pounds of marijuana and amounts of both heroin and methamphetamine that equated to trafficking charges.
Negrete’s criminal record includes convictions for illegal entry into the United States (1990); providing false identification to peace officer (1992); and driving without a license and failure to maintain insurance (2008 and 2010).
Circuit Court Judge Brooks Goldsmith handed down the sentence.
Campbell is a member of the Career Criminal Unit and primarily prosecutes cases in Jasper County. She has been with the Solicitor’s Office since 2020 and has been a trial lawyer for more than 25 years.