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Press Release

San Francisco Resident Sentenced To Six Years In Prison For Possession Of Guns, Ammunition, And Drugs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Defendant Admitted He Continued Selling Drugs To Jailmates While Awaiting Trial

SAN FRANCISCO – Samuel Polanco was sentenced to 72 months for being a felon in possession of ammunition and in connection with a scheme to sell methamphetamine and Suboxone, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Patrick T. Gorman. The sentence was handed down by the Hon. Richard Seeborg, Chief United States District Judge.

Polanco pleaded guilty to the charges on June 28, 2021. According to the plea agreement, Polanco admitted that on September 17, 2020, he was arrested on an outstanding warrant by members of the San Francisco Police Department. Polanco was arrested near his white Jaguar SUV that he parked outside the SoMa Park Inn in San Francisco. Having been previously convicted of a felony, Polanco was not permitted to possess a firearm or ammunition. Nevertheless, at the time of his arrest, Polanco was in possession of a privately manufactured, unserialized 9mm caliber pistol, or “ghost gun,” and a magazine containing 10 rounds of unfired 9mm ammunition. Additional rounds of ammunition were found in his car, including 28 rounds of unfired 9mm ammunition and 17 rounds of unfired .40 caliber ammunition.

In addition to illegally possessing these items, Polanco admitted that he also was in possession of narcotics. Specifically, Polanco acknowledged that at the time of his arrest, he was found with approximately 210 grams of methamphetamine and 45.33 grams of fentanyl in the folds of his skin. Polanco admitted in his plea agreement that he knowingly possessed the methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it. 

Polanco also pleaded guilty to an additional crime that he committed after his arrest. Specifically, beginning March 25, 2021, Polanco was detained in pretrial custody at Santa Rita Jail and, while detained, asked a confederate outside of the jail to send him Suboxone (in the form of sublingual strips), a Schedule III controlled substance. Polanco admitted that he received the strips, used the drugs himself, and distributed the drugs to other inmates in exchange for payment in currency or commissary items. Polanco admitted he possessed the Suboxone with the intent to distribute it to other inmates.

On June 24, 2021, the government filed a superseding information charging Polanco with being a felon in possession of ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1); possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(viii); and possession with intent to distribute Suboxone, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(E)(i). Polanco pleaded guilty to all three counts.

In addition to the prison term, Chief Judge Seeborg also ordered Polanco to a four-year term of supervised release.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Tartakovsky. The prosecution is a result of investigations by the San Francisco Police Department and Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. 

Updated September 20, 2022