A woman arrested in June 2013 for conspiracy to promote prostitution in connection with several Snohomish County bikini barista coffee stands she owned — including outlets on Highway 99 in Edmonds and Lynnwood — is back in Snohomish County Jail after she allegedly pressured potential witnesses not to cooperate with police.
Carmela A. Panico, 51, of Snohomish was arrested on three counts of witness tampering and one count of intimidating a witness, said Everett Police spokesman Aaron Snell.
Since June 2013, Everett Police detectives have continued investigating Panico and her associates by conducting interviews and examining physical evidence collected during search warrant seizures, Snell said. Over 100 baristas, either current or former employees of Panico, have been identified through the investigation. Many baristas were contacted and interviewed by Everett Police detectives.
According to Snell, detectives learned during interviews that Panico allegedly pressured potential witnesses to not cooperate with police and falsely say they were being represented by an attorney. It was said that Panico also singled out one potential witness and applied pressure for her to change statements made to police. The evidence and testimony established probable cause to arrest Panico.
The investigation into Panico’s operations is ongoing for alleged prostitution and other crimes.