SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 13, 2014

Discovery of rifle, pot leads to charges

Defense says suspect has prescription for medical marijuana

(Continued)

The officers moved in, and the man who had been sitting with Torres took off, running down the railroad tracks, police said.

Torres, meanwhile, “seemed surprised” to see the officers, Varone told the judge.

The officers did a safety sweep and felt the gun in the bag.

At first, Torres told police that the other man had just tried to sell him a gun, police said. But officers pointed out that they had seen him get off the train with the bag.

“OK,” Torres allegedly responded.

His attorney, Daniel Werner, said yesterday that his response was not an acknowledgement that he had carried the gun off the train, only that the officers had made that statement.

Police also reported finding half an ounce of marijuana packaged in smaller bags, presumably for distribution.

They also took him into custody on a series of old warrants, including the warrant for the December threats case and two other warrants.

Varone, who had urged $25,000 bail for Torres, suggested that the timing of his arrival in Beverly with a gun was troubling, coming just three months after he allegedly threatened his former girlfriend.

Werner argued for $500 bail, saying that’s all his client, who was deemed indigent, could afford to post.

Werner argued that Torres, but for one default, “always shows up” for court, and that when police arrived at the scene Tuesday night, “Mr. Torres did not flee. ... He talked to them.”

The public defender also questioned the basis for police to search the bag in the first place. “He wasn’t holding it,” Werner said.

As for the marijuana, Werner said Torres has a prescription for medical marijuana for “severe back pain.”

In addition to the $10,000 total bail set by the judge in the two newest cases, Torres will be held on the warrants for his earlier cases. He’s due back in court April 9.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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