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Charlotte Area

Heroin Dealer Sentenced

A California drug dealer was sentenced Tuesday in Charlotte to more than 10 years in federal prison. Earlier this year, Alberto Gasca pleaded guilty to smuggling heroin from Mexico and distributing it around the country, including Charlotte.

According to local Department of Justice officials, the 31-year-old Los Angeles-based Gasca had an extensive network of couriers that he used to transport and distribute heroin and other drugs, going as far back as 2012. Law enforcement officials say when Gasca was arrested in September 2014, a large amount of cash, two kilograms of heroin, drug paraphernalia and a ledger were seized. He pleaded guilty to possessing heroin with the intent to distribute in February. His sentencing comes with no chance of parole.

Gasca’s case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency in Charlotte and is part of a larger joint federal, state and local ongoing drug investigation. Six others who worked with Gasca were sentenced earlier, including 31-year-old Hector Manuel Castaneda Gastelo. Court officials say Gastelo oversaw heroin shipments to Charlotte and a local group of heroin dealers. He was sentenced in March.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, heroin use has skyrocketed nationwide and in North Carolina. Heroin deaths in the state went from 38 in 2010 to 183 in 2013.