A Conway man is facing six felony charges following a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Conway Police Department and the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office.
Online records show Mario Alvizar Torres, 32, is charged with conspiracy to deliver meth, maintaining a drug premises within 1,000 feet of a certified drug-free zone, possession of meth with purpose to deliver, possession of marijuana with purpose to deliver, using a communication device to facilitate a drug crime and possession of drug paraphernalia following a controlled buy.
Investigators and agents with each agency met up with a confidential informant on June 6, where the informant called the suspect and arranged to meet up with Torres to purchase meth.
During the phone call, the confidential informant told Torres he had "paperwork," which "is code for asking to meet up for a methamphetamine transaction," according to a probable cause affidavit.
The confidential informant reportedly met up with Torres "at his shop," which is the Tire and Auto shop located at 2010 E. Oak St. in Conway. During the encounter, which was audio and video recorded, the confidential informant reportedly told Torres he had $5,000 and wanted to purchase 1 pound of meth.
"The CI met with Alvizar and told him he had $5,000," the affidavit reads in part. "Alvizar tells the CI that he (Alvizar) will contact him later in the day. The CI left the location and met with agents/investigators. The CI returned to 2010 East Oak Street approximately one and a half hours later, and at that time, Alvizar told the CI to return in the morning before 8:30 a.m., to come alone, and to bring $6,500. This meeting was also audio/video recorded."
The next day, June 7, the confidential informant went back to the Tire and Auto shop to meet with Torres. The money he took with him was photocopied prior to the meet-up, according to the affidavit.
After meeting with Torres at the tire shop, Torres reportedly took the $5,000 before telling the confidential informant to leave and come back at a later time to pick up the methamphetamine.
"Under instructions from law enforcement, the CI requested the money back and told Alvizar he/she would not leave without the money or the methamphetamine," the affidavit reads. "Alvizar instructed the CI to get off his property. The CI left the property, leaving behind the buy money, and met with [investigators]."
The confidential informant was searched before and after his encounters with the suspect to make sure he did not have any contraband on him. After the confidential informant left the money with Torres, DEA agents and local investigators obtained a search warrant that was approved by a circuit judge and returned to the Tire and Auto shop to search the premises, where they reportedly found the drug-buy money and other illegal items.
Records show authorities found about 5.5 pounds of marijuana inside a large trash bag, a baggie of suspected meth and the $5,000 of drug-buy money. Authorities also found suspected drug packaging materials inside a trash can and "numerous spools of copper/metal wire labeled 'Tokusen' determined to be stolen from the company in plain view on the northwest corner of the lot," according to the probable cause affidavit.
With several agencies working together on this case, authorities were able to put their best skills to use, FCSO spokesman Erinn Stone said.
"The benefit of our agency working with [the] Conway Police Department on cases, and especially drug cases, allows for more eyes and ears out in the county," she said. "It also allows each officer to bring their different areas of experience and expertise to the table."
Local agencies coming together to deter crime is not uncommon, Stone told the Log Cabin.
"It just seems to be a natural thing, helping each other out with getting drugs off the streets and out of the communities," she said. "Working together is how it should be, cases move much smoother when we work together, it also makes sure each officers stays safe and gets back home."
Online records show Torres, who is currently free on a $50,000 bond, is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. in Faulkner County Circuit Court for a plea and arraignment hearing regarding the aforementioned charges.