On Dec. 2, 2016, Avery Tyrez Forney, age 24 of Charlotte, was convicted of two counts of trafficking in heroin and one count of conspiracy to traffic in heroin. A Watauga County jury found Forney guilty as charged after a four-day trial.
The convictions were the result of an undercover operation conducted by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office on May 20, 2015. The Sheriff’s Office worked with a confidential informant to arrange the delivery of two ounces, or approximately 567 dosage units, of heroin from Charlotte.
The defendant and his two accomplices arrived in the suspect vehicle later that evening. When confronted by law enforcement, the suspects threw heroin and a firearm from the vehicle as they led officers on a high-speed chase into downtown Boone. The Boone Police Department responded to the ongoing emergency and successfully stopped the vehicle without any injuries.
The Honorable Gary M. Gavenus, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, sentenced Mr. Forney to a minimum of 37 years, and a maximum of 47 years in prison. Forney was also fined $1.5 million.
“The aggressive prosecution of those who traffic in heroin continues to be a priority for the District Attorney’s Office,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “The influx of this deadly drug into our community has played a role in several of the overdose deaths that our community has witnessed. With this conviction the message should be clear to dealers: If you sell this poison in Watauga County then you are going to prison. I would like to thank Assistant District Attorney Matt Rupp for his work on this case. I also would like to commend the work of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone Police Department for their help in seeing that Avery Tyrez Forney was put behind bars”
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