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Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
Wednesday January 16th, 2019 :: 12:31 p.m. PST


Sheriff's Detectives arrest four suspects in botched pot deal.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Detectives are releasing new details about four men being arrested after a botched marijuana deal in the 500 block of Todd Rd last night. Shortly after 7:30 PM Sheriff’s patrol deputies along with CHP officers responded to the 500 block of Todd Rd in Santa Rosa. It was initially reported as a car crash into a ditch. Follow up callers reported shots fired in the area.
When patrol deputies arrived on scene they found a silver rental Infiniti SUV in the ditch which had been struck by a bullet. It was reported several people had fled from the Infiniti into a nearby field. Deputies located and detained two suspects in the field who had fled from the Infiniti. They were identified as Welington Polanco, a 22-year-old man from Bronx, NY and Carlos Penzo, 32 of Yonkers, NY. It was determined that they flew into the Bay Area from New York on January 12, 2019 with the intent to purchase marijuana and take it back to NY.
They arranged to meet with two men at a home in the 500 block of Todd Rd in Santa Rosa last night to specifically make the purchase of marijuana. These men were identified as Gerardo Valencia, 50 who is a resident of the home in the 500 block of Todd Rd and Noah Zayas, 23 of Bronx NY.
There were contradictory statements about how the transaction occurred but ultimately Polanco and Penzo tried to drive away from the Todd Rd property with about 14 pounds of marijuana at a high rate of speed and someone from the Todd Rd property shot three rounds at the Infiniti. The Infinity crashed into the ditch, Polanco and Penzo fled on foot and were subsequently captured.
The Infinity contained marijuana and an undisclosed amount of cash. It was towed to the Sheriff’s Office to be processed by Crime Scene Detectives later today. Gerardo Valencia was located on the property and was detained for questioning. Noah Zayas was also found hiding in a rear residence on the property. When he failed to come out of the residence he was located by a Sheriff’s canine, was bitten and taken into custody.
Sheriff’s Detectives were called to the scene along with the Sheriff’s SWAT team. After securing a search warrant they searched the property and the crime scene was processed.
All four men were taken to the Sheriff’s Office and interviewed by detectives. They were all ultimately booked into the Sonoma County Jail. Zayas was charged with transportation of marijuana for sale, conspiracy and resisting arrest. Valencia, Polanco and Penzo are being held are preliminarily charged with transportation of marijuana for sale and conspiracy. They are all being held on $30,000 bail.
Detectives are continuing their investigation today into the case and haven’t determined who the shooter was. If anyone has information about the case they are encouraged to call Sheriff’s Investigations at 707-565-2185.

Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
2796 Ventura Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-565-2650

Sgt. Spencer Crum
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