News Release
November 2, 2009
Erin Mulvey

Leader of Bronx Crack Gang Found Guilty in
Manhattan Federal Court of 1992 Murder

NOV 2 -- JOHN P. GILBRIDE, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division (“DEA”) and PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that ANGEL MARTINEZ, a/k/a "Druggie Lou," was found guilty Friday, October 30, 2009 following a two-week trial before United States District Judge DENNY CHIN of running a gang that distributed crack cocaine on Gerard Avenue in the Bronx, New York.

"This conviction demonstrates the determination of law enforcement to investigate and ultimately prosecute those who distribute drugs and use violence for no other reason than to make a profit," said DEA Special Agent-in-Charge JOHN P. GILBRIDE. "Due to impressive prosecutorial actions of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and DEA's investigation, this individual was found guilty by his peers and will face the consequences of his illegal actions."

MARTINEZ was also found guilty of murder in connection with the November 2, 1992, shooting and killing of HERBERT ORTIZ in the Bronx during the course of the MARTINEZ'S crack conspiracy.

According to the Superseding Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court and evidence brought at trial:

From 1991 until November 2006, MARTINEZ led a large scale retail crack distribution business centered on Gerard Avenue and 167th Street in the Bronx. For over 15 years, MARTINEZ and GEORGE TORRES, a/k/a "Geo," and their associates sold kilograms of crack cocaine, all packaged in $5 and $10 bags, out of 1170 Gerard Avenue and other surrounding buildings.

MARTINEZ, TORRES, and another co-conspirator ("CC-1") shot and killed HERBERT ORTIZ on the corner of River Avenue and McClellan Street on the evening of November 2, 1992. Believing ORTIZ was a rival drug dealer, MARTINEZ, TORRES, and CC-1 shot ORTIZ seven times as ORTIZ was on a payphone in front of 1147 River Avenue, a territory controlled by MARTINEZ.

MARTINEZ, TORRES, and 15 of their workers were arrested between October 2006 and March 2007 by agents of the DEA. The 15 workers have each previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute crack cocaine. TORRES pleaded guilty to the murder of HERBERT ORTIZ on August 20, 2009. He is scheduled to be sentenced on a later date. MARTINEZ, 38, and TORRES, 36, each face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years in prison on the murder count. MARTINEZ also faces a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence on the crack conspiracy count.

"The jury has spoken and brought Angel Martinez to justice for his vicious disregard of human life," said United States Attorney PREET BHARARA. "Working with our dedicated law enforcement partners, our office will continue to combat violent crime and do everything in our power to make our streets safer."

Assistant United States Attorneys MICHAEL Q. ENGLISH and JESSICA A. MASELLA are in charge of the prosecution.