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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Three admit guilt in cocaine distribution operation

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – A confirmed MS-13 gang member and two Martinsburg men have admitted to their involvement with a multi-state drug trafficking operation, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Miguel Angel Cruz-Polanco, a confirmed MS-13 gang member and a citizen of El Salvador, pled guilty to one count of “Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of Cocaine” and one count of  “Reentry of a Removed Alien.” Cruz-Polanco, age 34, admitted to selling cocaine in Berkeley County in October 2016, as well as reentering the county illegally.

Kenneth Biermann-Ruz, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, age 29, pled guilty to one count of “Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of Cocaine.” Biermann-Ruz admitted to selling cocaine in Berkeley County in October 2016.

Adam Bensaid, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, age 20, pled guilty to one count of “Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of Cocaine.” Bensaid admitted to selling cocaine in Berkeley County in January 2017.

Cruz-Polanco, Biermann-Ruz, and Bensaid each face up to 20 years incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for the drug charge. Cruz-Polanco faces up to 20 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the reentry charge. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shawn M. Adkins and Lara K. Omps-Botteicher are prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Virginia assisted. The investigation is led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, the Potomac Highlands Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug & Gang Task Force , the West Virginia State Police, the Virginia State Police, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Martinsburg Police Department, the Charles Town Police Department, and the Ranson Police Department. Other agencies assisting in the investigation are the Winchester City Police Department; and Frederick County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office; Pittsylvania County; Virginia Sheriff’s Office; and the Henry County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation was funded in part by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated September 26, 2018