Pictured above: Erick Cuevas-Pastrana – Picture courtesy of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office
A Rowan County man in the country illegally faces years in prison after a roadside encounter with Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputies. Around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, deputies responded to Woodleaf Road in Woodleaf, North Carolina, to Investigate the report of a suspicious person on the side of the road. Deputies located Erick Gabriel Cuevas-Pastrana, age 30, siting in the grass near Wetmore Road. Cuevas-Pastrada indicated that he was walking home after having an incident with his girlfriend and that he had walked for seven hours. Deputies offered Cuevas-Pastrana a ride and he agreed. Deputies told Cuevas-Pastrana that before being allowed in the patrol vehicle, deputies would have to pat him down and search a black bag slung over his shoulder. Cuevas-Pastrana asked why deputies needed to search the bag because there was nothing in it. Deputies told Cuevas-Pastrana that if he did not want them to check his belongings, he could continue walking and he would not receive a ride. At this time, deputies discovered that Cuevas-Pastrana had an active child support warrant. Cuevas-Pastrana was arrested and in a search incident to arrest, they located a loaded .9-millimeter handgun, 102 grams of methamphetamine, scales, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia in the black bag. A small amount of methamphetamine was found in the suspect’s jacket. The value of the methamphetamine was around $5,000.
Cuevas-Pastrana was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and carrying a concealed weapon. Bond was set at $25,000.
In a follow up investigation, the Rowan County Detention Center staff screened Cuevas-Pastrana and determined he was a Mexican citizen and in the country illegally. The United States Department of Homeland Security-Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was notified and an immigration detainer placed on Cuevas-Pastrana. Investigators contacted the United States Attorney’s Office in Greensboro, North Carolina, about possible federal prosecution. Due to Cuevas-Pastrana immigration status, he is prohibited from possessing firearms.
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