Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James J. Hunt, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), James P. O’Neill, Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), and George P. Beach II, the Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), announced that YESSENIA JIMENEZ, a New York City Police Department Officer, and LUIS SOTO, were arrested and charged yesterday in Manhattan federal court with heroin trafficking and firearms offenses. JIMENEZ and SOTO were presented yesterday before Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As alleged, Yessenia Jimenez, a New York City Police Department officer, along with Luis Soto, trafficked heroin in New York City, the city she took an oath to serve and protect, and used her police department service weapon to carry out her illegal activities. Thanks to the outstanding investigative work of the DEA, NYPD, and the New York State Police, Jimenez and Soto have been arrested and can no longer contribute to the opioid epidemic plaguing this city.”
DEA Special Agent-In-Charge James J. Hunt said: “Allegedly, this New York City Police officer and her co-defendant pushed heroin onto the streets at the same time that other law enforcement officers across the nation are fighting an opioid epidemic. I commend the men and women at the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force and Southern District of New York for their tireless efforts in dismantling drug trafficking crews throughout this city and nation.”
Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “Cops are charged with enforcing the law, not breaking it. Today’s arrest—for serious allegations of trafficking heroin—are troubling.”
Superintendent George P. Beach II said: “The charges brought today against these two individuals are the direct result of the vigilant work done by our law enforcement partners at all levels. These partnerships are key when it comes to shutting down illegal drug trafficking operations, keeping dangerous drugs off of our streets, and stopping the heinous crimes that are associated with these activities. This sends a clear message that such crimes will not be tolerated especially when they are perpetuated by individuals who have been entrusted with enforcing and upholding the law. Such criminals will be prosecuted to the fullest.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[]:
Following a months’ long investigation into heroin trafficking, the DEA identified SOTO as an individual believed to traffic in kilogram quantities of heroin, and to collect narcotics proceeds. The investigation uncovered that SOTO was working with JIMENEZ, an NYPD officer, to carry out his drug trafficking activities. Following extensive surveillance and GPS tracking, the DEA, the NYPD, and the NYSP apprehended JIMENEZ and SOTO in possession of approximately $50,000, which represent proceeds from the sale of narcotics. JIMENEZ, who was not in uniform and was off duty, was carrying her loaded NYPD service firearm in her purse, alongside approximately $25,000 of the drug proceeds. Following the arrest, law enforcement agents obtained a search warrant for the defendants’ apartment and discovered approximately 250 grams of heroin.
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JIMENEZ, 31, of the Bronx, New York, and SOTO, 34, of the Bronx, New York, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute at least 100 grams of heroin, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison; one count of possession of at least 100 grams of heroin with intent to distribute, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of using and carrying a firearm in relation to their heroin trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the DEA and NYPD in this investigation. He added that the investigation is continuing.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thane Rehn is 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.