2 suspects charged in federal drug case
Agents seized "ice," cocaine and $570,397 in cash
Federal drug enforcement agents nabbed two men for distribution and possession of drugs, seizing $570,397 from one of the suspects' apartments, according to a criminal complaint filed yesterday.
Alejandro Sanchez Panares Jr., also known as Alex, and Joseph William Torno, also known as J.J., were charged yesterday in federal court with conspiring to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute 2.2 pounds of methamphetamine and 6.6 pounds of cocaine.
An undercover agent conducted multiple drug transactions with the suspects between Dec. 9 and Thursday, according to the complaint.
The agent began with smaller purchases of cocaine and "ice," paying $3,400 on one occasion and $7,500 on others, building up to the final exchange of $36,000 for a pound of methamphetamine, the complaint said.
The agent and Panares met at noon Thursday at the Sports Authority parking lot on Ward Avenue in Kakaako. Panares got into the officer's car with a pound of ice in several small bags held in a larger plastic bag, the complaint said. Panares had started counting the money when he was arrested, the complaint said.
The contents of the bag were field-tested after the buy and determined to be 454 grams of methamphetamine, according to the complaint.
On Thursday, agents searched Panares' and Torno's homes. They found in Torno's Silva Street apartment a pound of cocaine, an ounce of methamphetamine, Ecstasy tablets, a loaded .25-caliber revolver, a rifle and a .357 Magnum revolver.
Officers searched Panares' home at the Century Center Condominium building and found 410 grams of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and the $570,397 in cash, along with three firearms.
They also found a loaded .22-caliber handgun in the floorboard of Panares' green Honda, parked at the Sports Authority lot.