News Release
December 17, 2010
Erin McKenzie-Mulvey
Public Information Officer
(212) 337-2906

Two Arrested in Undercover Operation
Largest Undercover Drug Buy in Oneida County


DEC 17
- (Syracuse, NY) United States Drug Enforcement Administration New York Field Division Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride and Oneida County District Attorney Scott D. McNamara announced the largest undercover drug buy in the Oneida County Drug Task Force history. On December 15, 2010, agents from the Oneida County Drug Enforcement Task Force (DETF) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) ended a two month investigation into the trafficking of the narcotic drug heroin from the City of Utica to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

On December 15, 2010 at approximately 11:00 a.m. in the City of Utica, undercover agents purchased approximately 10 ounces of heroin for $ 28,000 from ROSARIO POLANCO (DOB 10-7-79) of 1019 Wager Street in Utica and SAKONE KHIEMDAVANH (DOB 9-20-65) of 2119 Erie Street, Utica.

This purchase took place in a parking lot near the intersection of John and Elizabeth Streets in the City of Utica. Subsequent search warrants executed in the City of Utica resulted in additional seizures of 11 ounces of cocaine, an AK-47 assault rifle, 3 shotguns, packaging materials used to package illicit substances for sale, digital scales used to measure and weigh illicit substances from 1019 Wager Street, and a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and ammunition from located at 420 Lansing Street.

The estimated street value of the heroin and cocaine if packaged for resale and distribution on the street would have been in excess of $ 200,000

Also seized were a GMC Envoy SUV, a 1996 Acura sedan, and the $ 28,000 of purchase money.

POLANCO and KHIEMDAVANH were charged with Criminal Possession and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, Both are A-1 felony offenses and were remanded to the Oneida County Jail pending a felony examination scheduled to be held on Tuesday in Utica City Court.

The maximum punishment for the offenses charged is twenty (20) years in state prison.

Law Enforcement officers involved in the investigation were the Oneida County DETF, the DEA, the City of Utica Police Department’s METRO narcotics unit and Special Operations Unit, the Rome Police Special Investigations Unit, the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

The investigation of this matter is ongoing and further state and federal charges are pending.

DA Scott McNamara stated that “this case exemplifies the hard work and efforts of the reorganized Drug Task Force and the results that can be anticipated in the future from our continued cooperation at the local, state and federal levels.”

DEA SAC John P. Gilbride stated, “It is only through cooperative efforts such as this that drug trafficking and the social problems generated from drug use and abuse will be curtailed.” SAC Gilbride congratulates all the agencies and departments in this investigation for a job well done.”

Complaints contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.