Two men face cocaine charges, other counts

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Staff report
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office filed cocaine-possession charges against two Salisbury men who also apparently had converted a rifle into a machine gun and had two neglected pitbulls.
LaShawn Antonio Torrence, 32, of 150 Eldon Lane, and Michael Orlando Johnson, 22, 1022 Celebration Dr., were charged with trafficking cocaine, possession with intent to sell cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Torrence was also charged with maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances and possession of a firearm by a felon.
The two were arrested Monday at 150 Eldon Lane, Salisbury.
During February, the Sheriff’s Office and the Salisbury Police Department conducted a joint investigation into drug trafficking at the Eldon Lane residence.
The agencies made several purchases of crack cocaine from that residence, and on Monday a search warrant was issued.
During the search, investigators seized 97 grams of crack cocaine, valued at $19,400; two firearms and $1,000 in cash.
An initial test of one of the firearms, an SKS-style rifle, indicates it may have been converted into a machine gun, a statement said.
The rifle will be sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for further testing. Investigators also located several pitbull dogs on the property, two of which appeared to have been neglected.
The Rowan County Animal Control responded to the scene and took custody of the neglected animals.
Torrence was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under $500,000 secured bond, pending a first appearance Wednesday in district court.
Johnson was placed in the Rowan County jail under $100,000 secured bond, pending a Wednesday first appearance in court.
Both have since been released from jail.