by: Greg Suskin Updated:
Police stopped 57-year-old Vincent Hickman Friday night on Robinson Street in Rock Hill. Officers said he was swerving and nearly struck a curb.
They patted him down and told Channel 9 that eight bags of heroin fell out of his shorts. They checked his criminal history and found 12 prior drug arrests making this his 13th.
Marvin Brown, with York County's Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, said he was not familiar with Hickman. However, all of his prior convictions are from New York and New Jersey.
"We plan on interviewing him some time," Brown said. "If he's dealing heroin he likely has connections elsewhere."
Brown said heroin is not only one of the most dangerous drugs, but it's growing in popularity in the Charlotte area.
"Prescription painkillers are becoming harder to get because the awareness is so high. And those pain pills are synthetic heroin. So people are turning to the real heroin now," he said.
The suspect's father, Ace Hickman, didn't know his son had been arrested again until Channel 9 told him.
He said he's been trying to get his son to give up drugs and change his life for 20 years.
Neighbor Dee Berry has seen Hickman from time to time at his father's home. She was saddened to hear of his numerous drug arrests.
"How do you rescue a person like that? He has to want to be rescued," Berry said.
Other close friends who didn't want to be named said they were surprised to learn of Hickman's arrest.
Hickman is in jail on a $100,000 bond.
He's also listed as a habitual traffic offender after being caught five times driving with a suspended license, including Friday night.