Deadline Miami

Anonymous tip leads to big haul in drugs, cash in Key West

An anonymous tip led to the arrests of two men charged with possession of a large amount of illegal drugs, including more than 500 Xanax pills.

Alisher Zaharov, 21, and Andrei Balouev, 33, are accused of selling marijuana, Xanax and other drugs, according to Key West police. They were released from the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island Wednesday on $5,000 bond each.

Each is charged with felony counts of selling marijuana and selling prescription drugs, and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

That followed execution of a search warrant by a small army of law enforcement — the Key West Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, Customs and Border Protection and even the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service.

When police searched the property, Key West officer Henry Del Valle wrote that Zaharov admitted to selling marijuana and Xanax and specifically asked if he would be charged with three felonies.

Police said they found at the residence a mason jar with 511 Xanax pills in it, more than $5,000 cash and 3 pounds of marijuana in vacuum-sealed bags. Police also found an invoice in Zaharov's bedroom for hypodermic needles, which he allegedly sold.

When everything was added up, law enforcement officers retrieved more than 3 pounds of marijuana, 538 Xanax pills, $6,922 cash, a couple scales and a BB gun.

Balouev was previously arrested on charges including cocaine possession in Key West in 2006.

Balouev is scheduled to appear before Monroe County Judge Wayne Miller at 8:45 a.m. March 4, while Zaharov is scheduled to appear before Monroe County Circuit Judge Mark Jones at 8:45 a.m. the following day.