News Release
February 10, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Number: 602-664-5725

Tucson Drug Trafficker Found Guilty for Conspiracy to Supply Hundreds of Pounds of Marijuana

FEB 10 -- TUCSON, Ariz.  – Elizabeth W. Kempshall, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Phoenix Field Division and Dennis Burke, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona announced today that Miguel Eduardo Martinez, 36, of Tucson, Arizona, was found guilty yesterday of Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana, by a federal jury in Tucson after a week-long trial.  The case was tried before United States District Court Chief Judge John M. Roll. The defendant is being held in custody pending sentencing. Sentencing is set before Chief Judge Roll on May 3, 2010.

The evidence showed that Martinez, also known as “Indio,” was a member of a drug trafficking organization based in Tucson that distributed in excess of ten tons of marijuana from 2002 until 2008.  Over one million dollars in U.S. currency was seized by law enforcement from the organization during the course of the conspiracy, in addition to over 1,200 hundred pounds of marijuana.  Several weapons were seized in Tucson by law enforcement that were connected to Martinez.  They included an AR-15 with a loaded 100-round drum magazine (testimony at trial showed the AR-15 was used by Martinez’s associates to guard a drug load during the conspiracy), an AK-47, a hand grenade, and a pistol.

At a pre-trial hearing, Martinez was linked to a drug-related attempted murder in South Tucson in 2005 where a relative of Martinez was shot twice, once in the head. 

The investigation led to the arrest of key members of the drug trafficking organization in June 2008 by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

A conviction for Conspiracy to Possess With the Intent to Distribute Marijuana carries a maximum penalty of 40 years, a 5-year minimum mandatory sentence, a $2,000,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, Chief Judge Roll will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges.  The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

The investigation leading to the guilty verdict was conducted by the DEA and the Internal Revenue Service.  The prosecution was handled by James T. Lacey and Michelle K. Spaven, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.

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