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Former Gallatin County Sheriff Raymond M. Martin Sentenced to Two Consecutive Life Terms Plus Ten Years

BENTON, IL. - Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that on January 19, 2011, RAYMOND M. MARTIN, age 48, of Junction, Illinois, was sentenced in United States District Court in Benton to two life sentences plus ten years. The life sentences were also imposed consecutively to each other. The sentence stems from MARTIN’s conviction on September 23, 2010, following an eight day jury trial, of all 15 counts alleged against him. MARTIN was the elected Sheriff of Gallatin County. He was removed from office by the Gallatin County Board following his conviction.

Specifically, MARTIN was convicted of three counts of distribution of marijuana (Counts 1-3), one count of conspiring between November 2008 and May 18, 2009, to distribute marijuana (Count 6), two counts of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Counts 4-5), three counts of attempted witness tampering by physical force (Counts 7-9), one count of conspiracy to tamper with witnesses through physical force (Count 10), three counts of attempted witness tampering through threats, intimidation, and corrupt persuasion (Counts 11-13), one count of conspiracy to tamper with witnesses through threats, intimidation, and corrupt persuasion (Count 14), and one count of attempting to structure financial transactions to avoid currency reporting requirements (Count 15).

Evidence introduced at trial and the sentencing hearing showed that in November 2008, MARTIN approached two individuals in Gallatin County and asked them to begin selling marijuana for him which he had stolen from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Department evidence room. The evidence further showed that he repeatedly delivered marijuana, both stolen and quantities which he purchased from other sources, to these individuals from November 2008 through May 2009 and did so while on duty, in uniform, armed, and driving his county issued squad car. One of these individuals testified that MARTIN threatened him with his duty weapon on two occasions: once when MARTIN believed the individual had revealed MARTIN’s identity as the individual’s supplier and once when the individual told MARTIN he wanted out of their partnership. This prompted that individual to approach law enforcement agents, reveal information regarding his involvement with MARTIN, and begin working as a confidential source. Thereafter, this individual recorded numerous telephone calls and in-person meetings with MARTIN, including three separate deliveries of marijuana. MARTIN was paid thousands of dollars in marked bills for the marijuana he delivered. These deliveries were captured on video and observed by both aerial and ground surveillance agents. MARTIN was in uniform, armed, and driving his county issued squad car during these deliveries.

A federal arrest warrant was issued for MARTIN following the filing of a Criminal Complaint by the United States Attorney’s Office. He was taken into custody on May 18, 2009, at the Gallatin County Courthouse by agents of the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force, the Illinois State Police, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Federal search warrants were also executed on that date at MARTIN’s residence, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Department, and the Gallatin County Courthouse. At the courthouse, agents discovered that MARTIN had stolen over 30 pounds of marijuana from the evidence room. At his residence a safe was found hidden in the basement which contained $107,387 in cash (mostly hundred dollar bills) and included $2610 of the marked money he was paid for the deliveries of marijuana to the confidential source.

MARTIN was ordered held without bond and was placed by the United States Marshal in the Jackson County jail to await trial. In December 2009, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department officials received information from another confidential source that MARTIN had attempted to hire him to kill two of the main witnesses against him in the drug case while this individual was incarcerated with him in the jail. This individual provided agents with a hand drawn map MARTIN drew for him showing the location of the witnesses’ residences in Gallatin County. Subsequent investigation confirmed this information, showed MARTIN’s fingerprints on the map, and also revealed the existence of another individual whom MARTIN attempted to hire to kill these witnesses. That investigation also revealed that in December 2009, from his jail cell, MARTIN attempted to structure financial transactions at his bank in Shawneetown to conceal his remaining assets and prevent their seizure by the United States Government.

Under federal law, there is no parole meaning that MARTIN will not be released from custody.

In addition to the sentences of imprisonment, MARTIN was ordered to forfeit his Junction, Illinois residence (valued at over $200,000) and $76,090 in cash to the United States. He was also ordered to pay the United States fines and special assessments totaling $51,500.

Investigation into the drug aspect of the case was led by the Carmi office of the Illinois State Police/Southern Illinois Drug Task Force and the United States Attorney’s Office with the assistance of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service, the Mt. Vernon, Illinois Police Department, and the White County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Investigation into the witness tampering and financial structuring aspects of the case was led by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and the United States Attorney’s Office with the assistance of the Illinois State Police/Southern Illinois Drug Task Force, the IRS/CID, the DEA, the Jackson County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the White County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Unites States Attorneys James M. Cutchin and Michael C. Carr with the assistance of AUSA Michael Thompson on the forfeiture proceesings.


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