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Pound of cocaine confiscated in W.Va. drug bust

October 13, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Police on Friday confiscated more than a pound of cocaine from a 26-year-old man at an Inwood, W.Va., restaurant, where police arrested him after a confidential informant arranged to meet him for a $14,000 deal, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Jose H. Torres-Castellon was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and was in Eastern Regional Jail on Friday evening. A $100,000 cash-only bond was set by Magistrate Jo Ann Overington.

A complaint filed by West Virginia State Police Sgt. K.E. Plumer and arraignment papers completed by Overington listed no known address or Social Security number for the man.

Plumer said the man arrived at Viva Mexico restaurant in southern Berkeley County in a Ford Explorer with Virginia license plates.

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The amount of cocaine seized is comparable to a cereal box cut in half, said State Police First Sgt. E.D. Burnett, who described the man arrested as a "heavy hitter."

Torres-Castellon is at least the fifth man arraigned this week in cocaine deals orchestrated by members of the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives and uniformed officers with area law enforcement agencies, according to court records.

Aside from the deal Friday, police orchestrated at least two other deals since last week, each for two ounces of cocaine, according to court records.

Burnett attributed the string of drug busts to having more troopers on patrol and "hand-in-hand" teamwork with the Task Force.

"Our Drug Task Force has always been great with this," said Burnett, who also credited Gov. Joe Manchin's effort to allocate more resources for enforcement.

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