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Investigation into Cocaine Trafficking Organization Leads to 10 Year Sentence for Major New Haven Distributor

FEB 24 (NEW HAVEN, Conn.) – Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Omar Polanco-Mendez, 40, of New Haven, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for trafficking cocaine. 

According to court documents and statements made in court, in the fall of 2015, the DEA New Haven Task Force initiated an investigation into a cocaine trafficking organization headed by Halby “Harv” Lopez. Polanco-Mendez and Bernardo “Benny” Roman-Rolan were the second and third in command, respectively.  The investigation revealed that Lopez, Polanco-Mendez and Roman-Rolan were obtaining bulk quantities of cocaine from multiple suppliers and redistributing the cocaine to a network of New Haven-area street-level dealers. The investigation included court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of drugs and the seizure of multiple kilograms of cocaine.

On February 11, 2016, Polanco-Mendez arranged for the delivery of approximately two kilograms of cocaine, which was intercepted and seized by law enforcement. On March 2, 2016, Polanco-Mendez arranged and took delivery of one kilogram of cocaine. On March 11, 2016, Polanco-Mendez was arrested after he took possession of approximately two kilograms of cocaine, the delivery of which had been arranged by Lopez.  On March 24, 2016, a grand jury in New Haven returned a 13-count indictment charging Polanco-Mendez, Lopez, Roman-Rolan and seven other individuals with various narcotics offenses. All of the defendants pleaded guilty.  Polanco-Mendez has been detained since his arrest. On September 7, 2016, he pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute between 5 and 15 kilograms of cocaine. Lopez and Roman-Rolan await sentencing.

The DEA New Haven Task Force includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, East Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden and Derby Police Departments, and the U.S. Marshals Service.


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