Miami Woman Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Charge Following Traffic Stop in Jamestown
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Elina Martinez, 65, of Miami, FL, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, which carries mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a fine of $5,000,000.
On December 7, 2022, a Jamestown Police Officer conducted a traffic stop after observing Martinez’s vehicle, bearing a Missouri license plate, committing a number of traffic violations. Martinez, who produced a Florida driver’s license and car rental paperwork to the officer, gave consent for the officer to search the car. Officers opened the hood of the car and observed an “aftermarket” car battery that appeared to be too large for the car and tampered with due to the presence of an unknown adhesive. Officers cut into the battery and found a plastic bag containing a large quantity of blue pills. The defendant was detained, and the car was towed for a more extensive search. Officers later searched the car battery and the car and discovered a plastic bag containing approximately 9 lbs. 13 oz. of blue pills bearing the markings “m” and “30.” The pills contained 4,389 grams of fentanyl.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Timothy Jackson, the Chautauqua County Sheriff Office, under the direction of Sheriff James Quattrone, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Field Division.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 8, 2023, at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.