Bronx Man Sentenced to Prison for Assisting Cousin’s Drug Trafficking Enterprise
BRIDEPORT, Conn. - Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JUAN MARTINEZ, JR., 22, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for a narcotics offense.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in September 2020, law enforcement received court-authorization to install a GPS tracking device on a Volvo XC90 belonging to Martinez’s cousin, Joseph Matos, which investigators had learned contained a “trap” that was used to conceal and transport narcotics. Matos lived in both Bridgeport and at a residence on Martha Place in the Bronx, New York. Investigators tracked the Volvo for several months as it traveled between southern Connecticut and New York, on the west coast of the U.S., and to Tijuana, Mexico.
In March 2021, the Volvo was brought back to Connecticut via a car carrier from California. On March 22, 2021, investigators surveilled Matos as he traveled from his Bronx residence to a location in Trumbull where he picked up the vehicle. They stopped the vehicle and arrested Matos after a search revealed approximately two kilograms of cocaine hidden in the trap. Martinez, who assisted Matos’s drug operation, was arrested that same day at the Martha Place residence. A search of the residence revealed more than 500 grams of cocaine, approximately 50 pounds of marijuana, narcotics packing materials, more than $143,000 in cash, eight firearms, silencers, high-capacity magazines, and ammunition. At the time of his arrest, Martinez was in the process of packing the contraband to remove it after learning that Matos had been stopped by police in Connecticut.
On April 4, 2023, Martinez pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to Matos’ possession with intent to distribute narcotics.
Matos pleaded guilty and, on July 26, 2023, he was sentenced to 48 months of imprisonment.
This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, which includes personnel from the DEA Bridgeport Resident Office, the Connecticut State Police, and the Bridgeport, Danbury, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford, and Stratford Police Departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen L. Peck.