For Immediate Release - January 24, 2011

Weymouth Man Arrested, Arraigned in Connection with Allegedly Trafficking Prescription Narcotics

BOSTON - A Weymouth man has been arrested and arraigned in connection with allegedly operating an illegal prescription drug trafficking operation, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

Michael Panaro, age 37, of Weymouth, was arrested on January 20, 2011, in Dorchester by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office. Panaro is charged with Trafficking in Oxycodone, Possession of Oxycodone, Possession of Oxycodone with Intent to Distribute and Trafficking Oxycodone in a School Zone.

The arrest was the result of an investigation that began in the Fall of 2010 and focused on the trafficking of prescription narcotics in the South Shore area. Investigators discovered that Panaro was a high volume distributor, selling prescription pills in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Middlesex counties. Following Panaro's arrest, Massachusetts State Police executed a search warrant on his car, and at his residence in Weymouth. Authorities seized substantial amounts of Oxycontin and Percocet, as well as approximately $25,000 in cash. The investigation remains ongoing.

On January 21, 2011, Panaro was arraigned in Dorchester Municipal Court where he pled not guilty and was ordered held on $75,000 bail by Judge Kenneth Desmond. Panaro is scheduled to next appear in court on February 18, 2011, for a pre-trial conference.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Patrick Hanley of AG Coakley's Enterprise and Major Crimes Division and was investigated by the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Attorney General's Office.