HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A New Haven man was sentenced today for trafficking cocaine after a DEA investigation dating back to 2015 lead to his arrest.
Omar Polanco-Mendez will serve ten years in federal prison for his role in the New Haven narcotic organization, headed by Halby Lopez, according to officials. Polanco-Mendez, a 40-year-old, was second in command of that cocaine operation, while Bernardo Roman-Rolan served third in command, as announced by United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly through court documents and statements made in court.
In the fall of 2015, the DEA New Haven Task Force initiated an investigation into the cocaine trafficking organization which 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 Feb. 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 pled guilty.
Polanco-Mendez has been detained since his arrest. On Sept. 7, 2016, he pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute between five kilograms and 15 kilograms of cocaine. Following his sentence, he will have five years of supervised release.
Lopez and Roman-Rolan await sentencing.