Liberty County woman sentenced to 15 years for drug charges

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 punishment of 15 years to life in prison.

During trial, Assistant District Attorney Nicole Washington presented evidence that the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to CR443 regarding a stolen gooseneck trailer and RV. While searching the area, Sergeant Paul Young encountered Rodney Steward, who claimed the RV in question was bequeathed to him by his mother.

Sgt. Young located Julie Herrera sleeping inside a bedroom in the RV, where he also found five bags of methamphetamine, multiple glass pipes that contained suspected methamphetamine, a digital scale, syringes, and empty baggies used for packaging methamphetamine. Both Herrera and Steward were 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 beginning deliberations.

In the sentencing phase of trial, the jury heard evidence that Herrera had been convicted in 2018 of Possession of Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine) and in 2005 of Burglary of a Habitation.

After trial, the jury praised both the District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office for excellence in service to the community and expressed gratitude to Assistant District Attorney Nicole Washington, thankful that she was working to represent the people of Liberty County.

“This case would not have come together without the assistance of Paul Young and District Attorney First Assistant Steve Taylor.  My last trial was almost two years ago, and I was out of practice and admittedly nervous. Both Paul and Steve allowed me to harass them relentlessly to ensure my comfort.  Also, special thanks to the District Attorney investigators, who assisted with my technical needs. You fellas are the absolute best!” said Washington.

District Attorney Jennifer Bergman added that drug use is responsible for serious crimes throughout our communities.

“This case highlights our law enforcement’s proactive approach to helping to take dealers and users off our streets and to protect the citizens of Liberty County.  Further, we would like to express our gratitude to the jurors, who collective heard and weighed the evidence in this case against the defendant, and handed down a sentence they felt was just and deserved,” Bergman said.

9 COMMENTS

  1. They also left out a few things. Liberty county is crooked as hell and Julie’s attorney didnt do half of what he should but charged her for it. They all full of SHIT. The guy who said was all his is serving time for it so why was Julie charged with as well.

    • I have to agree with that. I know of a case where a person was convicted of identity theft 50 or more times and was sentenced to probation. She has on several occasions broken her probation with no repercussions. Oh well that’s Liberty county.

  2. I’m not siding with the people who choose to do drugs and choose to live that kind of life, but sentenced to 15 years?!? Wow. That is just excessive, and the blatant incompetence of our criminal justice system. Mrs. Bergman forgets the police who commit far more and worse crimes and put this city and it’s people in danger 24/7, not to mention they bully and terrorize this small community to the inth degree because they know the Justice system in this town is crooked and broken and they know nothing will be done to correct the REAL problems here, plus the police, attorneys, judges, etc., are either all buddies, related to or married to each other, not to mention their code of “professional courtesy” and “favors”, they all seem to have a hive mind and a wolf pack mentality, if one doesn’t like you, then they’re all going after you. Isn’t Mrs.Bergman married to the sheriff of this town and a long line of family in this town’s court system?? There’s just too much power and authority allowed and grasped tightly by only certain families that have ruled this community for decades, if you ain’t them, you ain’t nobody and you can forget about getting help or justice. Tell me one good thing that Liberty has for our children and young adults to do other than a pathetic excuse of a city park? We have a handful of over priced and overrated fast food joints and restaurants, too many gas stations, a Wal-Mart, a few Bars, Churches, a dirty bandaid hospital, a pitiful and inadequate library… in this town the only things anyone can do is go eat, go read, go to Wal-Mart, go to a bar, go to church, go get gas, go to a disgraceful and disgusting jail and then to a court house full of corruption, lies, nepotism, cronyism, incompetence, stagnation, demeaning, disrespectful people with an unfair, one sided view of the law and a blind eye to justice and what’s right, as soon as you walk in your treated like a criminal unless you know and are friends with the officers at the metal detector, your personal business isn’t your business anymore, if I’m getting married, or paying taxes or getting something notorized, or whatever else, I have to tell the officers what I’m there for… Anyways, sorry I got off subject but I understand that people can have a criminal background, BUT, if that person paid their debt to society for their crimes in the PAST, it should be completely irrelevant to the case and matter at hand in the present and future. It’s like
    someone padding a person’s file to assure a conviction/punishment to build their portfolio and make a name for themselves, albeit in a deceitful way or by any means necessary without any regard to the people’s lives they are deliberately and maliciously destroying. I wonder what would happen if all these police and people in power were to be EXTENSIVELY AND PRIVATELY investigated by a team of an outside highly reputable P.I. firm?? One thing I’m almost certain of is that probably more than half of the convictions will be overturned, some people may be let out of jail, many unfair sentences will be reduced, the lawsuits from the people will abound and those being sued will go bankrupt and THEIR names will be dragged through all manner of muck and mud, and forever stained and tarnished that even their children and other descendants will suffer automatic guilt, blame and discrimination just for being related to or associated with them, they will be treated just like anyone who is or was a Nugent, Tanton, Fregia, Duff, Birch, LaFrance, and so on, I don’t care how good of a person you may be or have never been in trouble before, or where you live or how much money you may have, but if you have one of these last names, your automatically guilty and viewed as a no good drug addict and trouble maker!! It’s ridiculous and sickening and downright torment living in a town afraid because of having a certain last name and not being treated fairly by ANYONE and ostracized from the community!! But you mark my words because the people who unjustly, cold heartedly, selfishly, spitefully, unforgivingly and without a conscious, dished out unfair punishments and sentences, despite evidence or lack of or suppression/destruction of evidence and disregarding or silencing witnesses, and so much more, will one day, hopefully very very soon, WILL BE investigated AND held accountable to the furthest extent of the law. Could you imagine their faces and the fear they would all have if they were to be hauled into court for their unlawful conduct, illegal indiscretions and abuse of power?!? ESPECIALLY if they knew that they were going to be treated unfairly by the same standards that they applied to the people in this town!?! 😆 Not to mention the Ineffective Assistance of Council and lack of effective communication from grossly incompetent court appointed attorneys… It’s been a LONG time since I’ve heard of a court appointed attorney getting a case dismissed for their clients, with that being said although they MAY get a charge reduced and a plea bargain, but that just keeps everybody else in power and keeps them in business, and still be friends so they can scratch each other’s backs when needed…. meaning everybody gets a piece of the pie but the defendants get the crumbs if anything is left after they slice and divide him/her up amongst themselves… This all needs to stop.

  3. That Is pathetic, 15 Years!!!!! You think it’s gonna help putting people in prison for being hooked, ,addicted to drugs? You know better . And then sit around Patton yourself and each other on the back with in sanctimony. But there’s no interest in solving murders in Moss a Bluff. That not even close to justice

  4. Liberty is a corrupt good ole boy town. They do what they want. 15 years for a possession charge on an addict. Yeah you done real good. Wow! What happened to country folk helping there neighbors? Guess that only applies if your the judge, D. A., or family. This is such a sad story for the community of Liberty.

  5. This is absolutely unheard of there are rapist that get less time then what this young lady got y’all free them to come back on our streets to do whatever they want to do to our children to our wives to our sisters to our mothers but yet y’all can put away a woman that apparently was not even in her OWN home for something that someone else claimed and y’all put her away for 15 years if you call that J UST AND DESERVING for a sentence that’s a disgrace to humanity boy y’all got a lot messed up out there in Liberty county I live on the outskirts and hear plenty of stories about Liberty county for some reason if you’re not one of you you’re absolutely nobody well let me tell you something everybody is somebody each and every person on the face of this Earth is somebody there God’s child And GOD seals our punishments that the truth I Believe we had a district attorney that openly admits they have not had a case in 2 years and had to go back and forth to other people to do her job but yet y’all can all walk around the courtroom and Pat each other on the back and even make a public announcement of congratulations and back patting other for doing what, what did you really do honestly deep down in your hearts what did you really really do make an example out of a young lady you’re all wrong for that and God does punish his children you got a jury that was not even out of the court room a complete hour that decided this young ladies faith based on her charges from years ago you should be ashamed of yourself God punishes all of his children I can’t believe you pathetic excuse of a jury and a pathetic excuse of attorney , the DA
    And Judge in that courtroom that day of her pathetic sentencing can put a lady behind bars for 15 years her life is done for 15 years she will be 58 years old when released from a pitiful unexcusable undeniable harsh sentencing of prison so what the lady had a pass isn’t that what we do each and every one of us on the face of this Earth we get set aside and we get in trouble for what we’ve done and we pay for it and we pay for it and we pay for it and we pay for it when it comes to the system I hope you’re all very proud of yourselves may God be with each and every one of you may God speak to your hearts and your minds and your souls and let you know this was the worst decision you could have ever made for this woman 58 years old coming home can you imagine I’m just disgusted and don’t really know what else to say what a truly sad story for this lady I tell you what folks don’t run a stop sign in Liberty county God only can imagine what could happen you might get 30 to life be careful out there everyone and as far as the system in Liberty county your system sucks I bet y’all have people that y’all have put in jail for a whole lot more with a whole lot less time what a waste what a waste on someone’s life like I said just disgusted you know I really think what needs to happen is exactly what anonymous anonymous said however have somebody to come in there and do a little sentencing themselves in Liberty county wonder how many will make it and how many wouldn’t that’s in authority things that make you go hmm added to anonymous anonymous there should be a a whole lot of protesting at your courthouse at your jail house for this pitiful pathetic excuse of a sentencing for this young lady I cannot believe how pathetically y’all can put yourself on pedestals band pat yourself on the back in the public eye how sickening for those of you that ARE SOMEONE AS I’VE BEEN TOLD THAT’S HOW IT GOES IN LIBERTY COUNTY JUST REMEMBER IF YOU MIGHT COMMIT A CRIME ONE DAY I HOPE YOUR JURY COMES DOWN JUST AS HARD AND FAST ON YOU AS THEY DID THIS LADY AND FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT AREN’T ANYONE IN LIBERTY COUNTY GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE THEY WILL HAVE YOU LOCK AND KEY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE OR HAVE YOU COME OUT AT 58 YEARS OLD SHAME SHAME SHAME AND SHAME ON EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.
    Now where’s all the protesters this young lady needs us..

  6. Weird….. found asleep in a Travel Trailer that Doesn’t Belong to you on property that isn’t your residence.
    I’m surprised the jury bought into that. If you’re asleep, then how do you know what is in the room. Anyone could’ve put the stuff there at anytime while she’s asleep.
    It looks like the minimum sentence was 15yrs under the state guidelines….. those are pretty harsh guidelines for someone that clearly has a substance abuse problem.
    Not sure that the assistant DA would wanna ring the Victory Bell for this sentencing…. They put a woman behind bars for more than a decade that has a long history of substance abuse. She’s had a longer history of being Battered, Sexually Abused, Homelessness, Mental Health Issues and God only knows what else.
    She’s made her choices in life, but honestly she’s been a surviving victim of some pretty horrible things. I’m confident that Julie can survive this experience…. But Dang if the punishment just DOESN’T SEEM FITTING!
    I’ve known her and her sisters for years growing up. Julie has always been really sweet, regardless of her problems.
    Hopefully she can get clean and stay clean… maybe she can petition the judge for Shock Probation.
    It sure sucks when you know that money and a strong attorney would’ve prevented her getting any jail time…. Maybe even an acquittal.
    There are some real pieces of crap in the community that definitely deserves 15yrs. I just don’t see Julie being in that category.
    I’m definitely hoping for a positive outcome for her.

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