Two under high bond after officers find drugs
Two men who live in China Grove have been arrested in connection with a cocaine distributing operation.
Luis Manuel Pantoja Paz and Jorge Ismael Torres-Jaime face charges after Rowan County Sheriff’s investigators got a tip that the pair were distributing a large amount of cocaine.
The investigation began in June. On Jan. 2, investigators learned that Paz would be delivering cocaine to someone in the parking lot of Wal-Mart on Arlington Street. Officers from the Sheriff’s Office, Rockwell Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation set up surveillance in the parking lot and saw Paz and Torres-Jaime arrive in Paz’s Chevrolet Tahoe.
Officers took both into custody when they left the car and searched them, finding about 2 ounces of cocaine and $2,700 on Paz. Officers then went to the apartment Paz and Torres-Jaime share at 405 N. Main St., Apt. 4, China Grove.
Paz consented to a search of the home, where investigators seized about 8 ounces of cocaine and numerous items of paraphernalia from the bedroom shared by Paz and Torres-Jaime.
Paz, 32, was charged with three counts of trafficking cocaine, one count of conspiracy to traffic cocaine, two counts of possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine and two counts of maintaining a dwelling/vehicle for controlled substance. He was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under $250,000 secured bond, pending a first appearance in court.
Torres-Jaime, 27, was charged with two counts of trafficking cocaine, one count of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and one count of possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine.
Torres-Jaime may be facing additional charges at a later date. He was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under $75,000 secured bond, pending a first appearance in court.