News Release
October 20, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

Tucson Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for
Supplying Over 10 Tons of Marijuana to a Drug Trafficking Organization

OCT 20
-- TUCSON, Ariz. - Miguel Eduardo Martinez, 37, of Tucson, Ariz., was sentenced by United States District Court Chief Judge John M. Roll to 30 years in federal prison. Martinez was found guilty by a federal jury on February 8, 2010 of Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana. Additionally, ten other members of the conspiracy have pleaded guilty.

The evidence at trial showed that Martinez, a.k.a. “Indio,” was a member of a drug trafficking organization based in Tucson, Ariz. that began in 2002 and continued until 2008, when Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested key members of the organization. The agents determined that Martinez distributed approximately 22,000 lbs. of marijuana during the conspiracy and found an AK-47, AR-15 assault rifles and a hand grenade at his residence during a search warrant.

“The drug trade has become a losing proposition for traffickers,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth W. Kempshall. "Thanks to the cooperative success of this investigation, we have identified a significant marijuana distribution organization and disrupted its ability to operate throughout Arizona and beyond.”

"Supplying ten tons of marijuana, maintaining a cache of weapons, and operating a conspiracy over a six year time span all add up to a deserved 30 year prison sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “This prosecution is an example of our office's continuing commitment to dismantle these drug conspiracies.”

At sentencing Chief Judge Roll considered the defendant’s criminal history which included several violent crimes. In 2005, Martinez was linked to an attempted murder of a relative when that relative committed a home invasion against one of Martinez’s drug customers. The relative was shot twice, once in the eye and once in the arm.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration 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.


# # #