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December 22, 2017
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: 212-337-2906

Additional charges announced against two Bronx men for a 2014 murder and 2014 drug-related shooting

(NEW YORK) - Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Darcel D. Clark, the Bronx County District Attorney; Ashan M. Benedict, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); James J. Hunt, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced additional charges in a superseding indictment against members of a drug trafficking crew based in the Bronx.  In the superseding indictment returned on Tuesday, December 19, Jason Polanco, aka “Jin,” aka “Wolfman,” is charged with the August 31, 2014, murder of Shawn Ross, aka “S.B.,” and Rene Ruiz, aka “Lil’ Rene,” aka “Nae Nae,” is charged with a May 2, 2014, non-fatal shooting.

Polanco, Ruiz, and 12 others were previously charged in an indictment unsealed on February 6, 2017.  That prior indictment charged narcotics trafficking, firearms possession, and participation in robberies of commercial establishments in the Bronx and Manhattan.  In addition to the new charges described above, the superseding indictment re-alleges the charges that had previously been brought in the Indictment against Polanco, Ruiz, and 10 others.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain.  Polanco, Ruiz, and the 10 other defendants charged in the superseding indictment were arraigned today.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “As alleged, Jason Polanco and Rene Ruiz not only participated in a drug conspiracy, but also personally participated in the drug crew’s gun violence, including, for Polanco, a murder.  Fortunately, federal authorities and our local law enforcement partners, working together, can make our streets safer, as they did in this case.”

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said:  “We are pleased to have assisted our federal law enforcement partners in their superseding indictment charging Jason Polanco with the murder of a Bronx man.  It is one of numerous violent felonies that Polanco and his co-defendants allegedly committed in the Bronx and Manhattan.  In addition to facing justice in federal court, he will face justice in the Bronx for shooting two New York City police officers in 2015.  With seamless cooperation between city, state and federal agencies we will continue to do all we can to ensure safety for all who live and work in the Bronx.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict said:  “Jason Polanco, Rene Ruiz and his charged co-conspirators are alleged to have committed a litany of crimes, including firearms offenses and violent crimes.  The defendants are alleged to have possessed and used firearms in the commission of violent crimes with some crimes resulting in serious bodily injury and in one case death.  The members of this violent drug trafficking crew have been a plague to the citizens of the Bronx and Manhattan for some time.  I would like to commend our partners in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office for their collaboration that made this case possible.  I also would like to extend my gratitude to the special agents of the DEA and ATF, and the NYPD detectives, who worked tirelessly to bring these individuals to justice.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said:  “This case shows the intrinsic link between drug trafficking, crime and gun violence.  New York law enforcement is committed to weeding out drug dealers in our neighborhoods so law abiding residents can live in neighborhoods  free from drugs and safe from the consequences of drug trafficking.”  SAC Hunt commends DEA’s partner agencies working on this investigation as well as the DEA’s Westchester Resident Office. 

Polanco is separately being prosecuted by the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for his alleged shooting of two NYPD Officers in January 2015.  Mr. Kim thanked the District Attorney’s Office for their cooperation in the federal investigation of Polanco for the alleged murder of Shawn Ross. 

The prosecution is being handled by the office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justina L. Geraci, Jordan Estes, Christopher J. Clore, and Amanda L. Houle are in charge of the prosecution.   

The charges contained in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Superseding Indictment and the description of the Superseding Indictment set forth below constitute only allegations and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.


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