Federal Agent Arrested For Participating In A Cocaine And Marijuana Conspiracy
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Gregory K. Null, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Region (“DHS-OIG”), and Terence S. Opiola, the Special Agent-in-Charge Northeast, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility (“ICE-OPR”), announced today the arrest of Immigration Enforcement Agent KORDELL NESBITT for his participation in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. NESBITT was arrested last night and presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott today. An alleged co-conspirator, SHERISSE THOMPSON, was arrested this morning in the Bronx, and was presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein. A second alleged co-conspirator, CHRISTOPHER SINCENO, was arrested today at his residence in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Kordell Nesbitt had a duty to uphold the nation’s immigration laws. But as alleged, he also had a side job: coordinating the transport and sale of cocaine and marijuana with co-conspirators Christopher Sinceno and Sherisse Thompson. We will not tolerate abuses of trust by individuals who, tasked with preserving law and order, choose instead to engage in illicit activity.”
DHS-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Gregory K. Null said: “The Office of Inspector General is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to identify and aggressively investigate all allegations of corruption to protect our borders and the integrity of DHS personnel, programs, and operations. Acts of corruption within DHS represent a threat to our nation and undermine the honest and hardworking employees who strive to maintain the integrity of the Department. Corruption will not be tolerated and those who choose to break the law will be pursued aggressively.”
ICE-OPR Special Agent-in-Charge Terence S. Opiola said: “The ICE Office of Professional Responsibility takes all allegations of employee misconduct seriously; and takes great pride in protecting the integrity of the ICE workforce and the agency mission through impartial and thorough investigations. The outcome of this investigation is the direct result of the successful, ongoing relationship between the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility and its law-enforcement partners.”
According to the two criminal Complaints unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
NESBITT, an Immigration Enforcement Officer with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), was responsible for, among other duties, escorting detained aliens both within the United States and internationally to foreign countries. In this capacity, he was authorized to carry a firearm at all times, and was able to avoid screening measures at airports to which civilian travelers are typically subjected.
Beginning in at least May 2013, NESBITT agreed to receive and distribute multiple packages containing cocaine, marijuana and other narcotics in the New York City area. He purchased the packages of narcotics from SINCENO and arranged for their delivery to THOMPSON’s residence in the Bronx. Once the packages reached THOMPSON’s residence, NESBITT sold the narcotics to his drug customers with her assistance.
Following his arrest last night, NESBITT, after being advised of, and waiving, his Miranda rights, stated: (1) he had purchased pound quantities of marijuana from SINCENO over the past two months; (2) THOMPSON had assisted him in distributing marijuana from her apartment; and (3) he had attempted to purchase $10,000 worth of cocaine from SINCENO, which he intended to sell. Following her arrest earlier today, THOMPSON, after being advised of, and waiving, her Miranda rights, admitted that she had assisted NESBITT in distributing marijuana from her apartment. Also earlier today, during a court-authorized search of THOMPSON’s residence, agents recovered a quantity of marijuana, a drug scale, and a set of ziplock bags.
NESBITT, 25, and THOMPSON, 33, both of the Bronx, New York, and SINCENO, 40, are each charged with one count of engaging in a conspiracy to violate the narcotics laws of the United States, namely, to distribute controlled substances containing marijuana and cocaine. They each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the DHS-OIG and ICE-OPR. He also thanked ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations for its assistance in the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Martin S. Bell is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaints are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.