Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York and New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill announced the indictment of CARLOS MEDINA PALOMINO, a resident of Queens, in connection with multiple sales of narcotics, including cocaine and fentanyl, and the operation of two brothels.
The indictment, filed by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor (SNP), charges MEDINA PALOMINO with three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, one count of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and one count of Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree. MEDINA PALOMINO is scheduled for arraignment on the indictment today before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Abraham Clott, Part 61, 111 Centre Street, 9th floor.
A long-term investigation was conducted by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, HSI New York’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Vice Squad – Human Trafficking Task Force and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). MEDINA PALOMINO was arrested yesterday afternoon after fleeing out the window of an alleged brothel located at 94-66 45th Avenue, 1st floor. MEDINA PALOMINO remained at large for approximately 30 minutes as agents and investigators searched for him in the vicinity of the brothel. Once he was located, MEDINA PALOMINO allegedly resisted arrest as he was taken into custody.
As charged in the indictment, MEDINA PALOMINO conducted narcotics sales to an SNP undercover investigator on three dates between February 27, 2019 and April, 2, 2019. Three transactions took place at a second brothel the defendant allegedly operated at 43-22 58th Street, Apt. 3F. MEDINA PALOMINO is charged with selling a combined total of nearly 250 grams of cocaine sold for approximately $9,800 on those occasions. Additionally, MEDINA PALOMINO allegedly provided a free sample of a substance that he claimed was heroin at the 94-66 45th Avenue, 1st floor, location. However, subsequent laboratory analysis determined the sample was instead a mixture of cocaine and the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl.
In interactions with the undercover, MEDINA PALOMINO asked for assistance in moving kilograms of narcotics from Colombia to either the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico and said he would personally fly to Colombia to arrange the details. The defendant also discussed prostitution and claimed to have “extradited” women from Colombia to work in his brothels. The undercover officer personally observed two women at the brothel locations who appeared to be sex workers and was shown photographs of additional women whom the defendant claimed worked for him. MEDINA PALOMINO also allegedly offered the undercover a complementary sexual encounter with a sex worker.
Yesterday afternoon, investigators and agents conducted court authorized searches of both alleged brothel locations and MEDINA PALOMINO’s residence, 91-19 32nd Avenue, 2nd floor, and seized approximately 350 grams of narcotics and $6,000 cash.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan commended her office’s Special Investigations Bureau and Investigators Unit, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) for their work on the investigation and thanked the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
HSI New York's Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) is a multi-agency task force comprised of HSI special agents, NYPD detectives, Customs and Border Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration, Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Waterfront Commission to focus on disrupting border related criminal activity associated with narcotics smuggling; human trafficking and smuggling; money laundering; bulk cash smuggling; weapons trafficking and smuggling and other serious crimes.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said, “I commend our law enforcement partners for their efforts to protect the vulnerable. The defendant is charged with trafficking in misery in multiple ways: selling lethal drugs, misrepresenting their actual contents and offering sexual services for sale from women he claimed to have ‘extradited.’”
“This man is alleged to have promoted a lifestyle of sex and drugs, using the backdrop of multiple brothels to sell highly addictive drugs, including drugs laced with fentanyl,” said Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge of HSI New York. “We will continue to work with our partners to arrest and seek prosecution for those who capitalize on the exploitation and weakness of others for profit.”
Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said, “As long as individuals – wherever they are based – are involved in illegal narcotics or human trafficking, the NYPD and our partners will relentlessly work to bring them to justice. I thank and commend the NYPD investigators, the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, HSI, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) and the Queens District Attorney for their dedication and efforts in building this case. Together, we will continue to make the safest large city in the nation even safer.”
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
New York City Police Department
HSI New York
Rachael Yong Yow