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Five arrested with two firearms, 679 grams of cocaine in early morning Massachusetts drug raids



Photo courtesy of Barnstable Police

5 have been arrested after a months-long investigation into a Massachusetts drug operation.

According to Barnstable Police, on Thursday morning, multiple federal search warrants were executed in the Mid-Cape area resulting in five arrests, the seizure of 2 large capacity firearms and ammunition, a bullet proof vest, along with 679 grams of cocaine with a street value of approximately $50,000.

Over the past several months the Barnstable Police Narcotics Unit and the Drug Enforcement Administration Cape Cod Resident Office have been conducting a narcotics investigation into a drug trafficking organization operating in the Mid-Cape area. 25-year-old Ryan Banton of Harwich; 29-year-old Kirk Brown of Mirimar, FL; 24-year-old Rojae McKenzie of Queens, NY; 65-year-old Joseph Panzera of Harwich, and a 17-year-old juvenile from Harwich were the five individuals taken into custody as a result of the investigation.

Barnstable Police Department Detective Unit, Barnstable Police Department K-9 Unit, DEA Cape Cod Resident Office (which consists of DEA Agents and Task Force Officers from the Barnstable Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, Mashpee Police Department, Bourne Police Department, Plymouth Police Department, Dennis Police Department, and the Yarmouth Police Department) and the Cape Cod Regional SWAT team were part of the investigation.

Banton, Brown, McKenzie, and Panzera were all transported to Orleans District Court for arraignment on Friday May 20, 2022 for the charges of Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm, Possession of Ammunition without and FID, Improper Storage of a Large Capacity Firearm, Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding Device, and Trafficking in Class B Substance (cocaine) 200 grams or more.

Bail for Banton and Brown was set at $10,000 a piece with GPS monitoring. Panzera’s bail was set at $1,000. Bail for McKenzie was set at $7,500 with GPS monitoring.

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