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News Release
May 24, 2004

Colombian Man Sentenced on Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

MAY 24 - Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LEONARDO MARTINEZ, age 54, of Medellin, Colombia,was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 92 months of imprisonment on federal drug trafficking charges.

MARTINEZ pleaded guilty on February 19, 2004, to an Indictment charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. The charges stemmed from the MARTINEZ's involvement in attempting to collect money that was owed on a previous delivery of cocaine from New York to Connecticut in August 2003, and from his agreement to deliver one additional kilogram of cocaine to a cooperating witness.

As revealed in court proceedings, on August 11, 2003, co-defendant OSCAR DE JESUS CHALARCA-ESPINAL delivered one kilogram of cocaine to an individual who was cooperating with the Drug Enforcement Administration. On August 19, 2003, both CHALARCA-ESPINAL and MARTINEZ were arrested after meeting with the same cooperating individual at a Dunkin Donuts in Fairfield, Connecticut, for the purpose of attempting to collect $8,000 towards the $25,500 that was owed for the kilogram of cocaine. MARTINEZ also agreed to deliver another kilogram of cocaine later that night.

CHALARCA-ESPINAL, who pleaded guilty to the same charge on December 3, 2003, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment on March 18, 2004. Both CHALARCA-ESPINAL and MARTINEZ face deportation to Colombia upon completion of their prison sentences.This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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