A Liberty County jury found Julie Ann Herrera, 42, guilty of the offense of possession of a controlled substance and sentenced her to 15 years in prison on July 27, 2021. Due to her criminal history, Herrera faced a potential sentence of 15 years for life in prison.
During the trial, Assistant District Attorney Nicole Washington presented evidence that the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office had been sent to CR443 about a stolen gooseneck trailer and camper van. While searching the area, Sergeant Paul Young encountered Rodney Steward, who claimed the camper van in question was left to him by his mother.
Sgt. Young located sleeping Julie Herrera in a room of the camper van, where he also found five bags of methamphetamine, several glass pipes containing suspected methamphetamine, a digital scale, syringes and empty bags used to package methamphetamine. . Herrera and Steward were both arrested and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver.
Herrera’s attorney, Michael McNeely, attempted to convince the jury that Steward’s guilty plea to the drug offense as well as the fact that she was living elsewhere at the time of her arrest proved her innocence. The jury was unconvinced and returned a guilty verdict within an hour of the start of deliberations.
During the sentencing phase, the jury heard testimony that Herrera was convicted in 2018 of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and in 2005 of burglary of a home.
After the trial, the jury commended the district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s office for their excellent service to the community and expressed gratitude to Assistant District Attorney Nicole Washington, acknowledging that she was working to represent the Liberty County residents.
“This case could not have gone through without the help of Paul Young and the District Attorney’s First Assistant, Steve Taylor. My last try was almost two years ago, and I was lacking in practice and admit I’m nervous. Paul and Steve allowed me to harass them relentlessly for my comfort. Also, special thanks to the district attorney investigators, who assisted with my technical needs. You guys are the best! Washington said.
District Attorney Jennifer Bergman added that drug use is responsible for serious crimes in our communities.
“This case highlights the proactive approach of our law enforcement agencies to help remove dealers and users from our streets and protect the citizens of Liberty County. Further, we would like to express our gratitude to the jurors, who collectively heard and assessed the evidence in this case against the accused, and handed down a sentence they felt was just and deserved, ”said Bergman.