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Press Release

Two Charged In Connection With Search Of Bronx Drug Mail Order Distribution Center Containing Approximately 100,000 Pills Of Suspected Fentanyl And Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Frank A. Tarentino III, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”); and Erin Keegan, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced today the filing of a Complaint in Manhattan federal court charging EDWARD EUSTATE JIMENEZ, a/k/a “Chino,” and WILIANYI ALMANZAR POLANCO with conspiracy to distribute narcotics and distribution of narcotics.  JIMENEZ and POLANCO were arrested yesterday afternoon in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.  They were presented earlier today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary Stein. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “This seizure removed substantial quantities of narcotics from the streets and helped to disrupt an alleged mail order business that promised legitimate prescriptions drugs but was really distributing deadly narcotics, like fentanyl.  I express deep gratitude to the efforts of our law enforcement partners and the career prosecutors of this Office as we remain committed to saving lives by keeping fentanyl off the streets of our community.”   

DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III said: “Simply put, this alleged fentanyl pill distribution organization was delivering deadly fentanyl to doorstops across America.  This emerging trend of mail order fentanyl pill delivery services elevates the danger of ordering pills from rogue online platforms and social media.  Fentanyl is the greatest threat to Americans ages 18-45, and DEA lab analysis has found that 7 out of 10 fentanyl pills contain a potential lethal dose; therefore, tens of thousands of potential lethal doses were removed from circulation today.  I commend our law enforcement partners for their collaboration and focus on arresting drug traffickers bringing the most harm to our communities and taking deadly poison off our streets.”  

HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge Erin Keegan said: “Fentanyl contributed to more than 100,000 overdose fatalities in 2023 — with a large number of cases tragically stemming from individuals unknowingly ingesting fentanyl in seemingly legitimate pharmaceuticals purchased via the Internet and delivered through the mail.  The goal of the HSI New York El Dorado Task Force is to leverage every tool at the state, local, and federal level to disrupt fentanyl production, transportation, and distribution both locally and globally.  Working with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will continue to conduct cross border investigations that degrade the ability of drug traffickers to operate in the New York City area and beyond, ultimately making a profound impact in the fight against the opioid crisis and saving innocent lives.”

As alleged in the Complaint filed today in Manhattan federal court:[1]

Since at least in or about September 2023, law enforcement has been investigating a network of drug traffickers (the “Drug Traffickers”) who, among other things, have been distributing large quantities of counterfeit prescription drugs using a mail-order system.  The drugs distributed include pills colored and pressed to look like, among other things, prescription oxycodone and Adderall, but that are, in fact, counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. 

On multiple occasions, an undercover law enforcement officer purchased pills from the Drug Traffickers which tested positive for, among other things, fentanyl.  Postal records show that at least two of the packages of pills were mailed by someone who appears to be JIMENEZ from a post office (the “Post Office”) located in the Bronx.  Since in or about January 20, 2024, JIMENEZ appears to have sent approximately 188 U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) packages, including approximately 80 packages that were sent from the Post Office.  On at least one occasion, he was joined by an individual who appears to be POLANCO.

On or about February 26, 2024, law enforcement agents arrested JIMENEZ and POLANCO.  At the time of his arrest, JIMENEZ was scanning parcels for mailing.  Around the same time, law enforcement arrested POLANCO, who was waiting in a vehicle near the Post Office.  Inside the vehicle was a black trash bag containing additional mail packages.

In total, law enforcement encountered more than 35 priority mail packages, each of which contained a quantity of what appeared to be counterfeit prescription pills.  The contents of two of the priority mail packages, containing what appears to be counterfeit oxycodone and counterfeit Adderall, are pictured below:

Photos of two mail packages and their contents, which appear to be counterfeit oxycodone and counterfeit Adderall

Also on or about February 26, 2024, law enforcement searched an apartment (the “Apartment”) that was rented or lived in by JIMENEZ and POLANCO and used to package and distribute narcotics for mailing.  During the course of that search, law enforcement officers recovered approximately 100,000 counterfeit pills that appear to be colored and pressed to imitate, among other things, prescription oxycodone, Adderall, and Xanax; a “kilo press,” or device used to press powdered narcotics into kilogram-weight bricks; over 2,000 USPS priority mail envelopes that appear to be unused; and bags containing what appear to be shipping receipts.  A photograph of the narcotics and some of the other material recovered from the Apartment is below: 

Photo of seized narcotics and other material recovered from the Apartment

Although lab testing is pending, preliminary field tests reveal that almost all of the narcotics recovered have tested positive for fentanyl and methamphetamine.

*                *                *

EDWARD EUSTATE JIMENEZ, 23, and WILIANYI ALMANZAR POLANCO, 32, both of the Bronx, New York, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and one count of narcotics distribution, both of which carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.   

The statutory minimum and maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge. 

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the El Dorado Task Force International Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit, which is comprised of law enforcement officers and investigators from the DEA, HSI, the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, the USPS, the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, and the New York High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, in connection with this investigation.  Mr. Williams also thanked the New York Strike Force Tactical Diversion Squad for their assistance.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maggie Lynaugh and Adam Sowlati are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff
(212) 637-2600

Updated February 27, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-073