WASHINGTON – Antonio C. Martinez Jr., 40, a former Chicago police officer, pleaded guilty today to racketeering conspiracy and related charges, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David Capp of the Northern District of Indiana.
Martinez pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano to conspiracy to commit racketeering activity; conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana; robbery; and using a firearm while committing these federal crimes. Martinez was charged, along with 14 additional defendants, in a third superseding indictment unsealed on Nov. 18, 2011. To date, 21 individuals, including Martinez, have been charged for crimes related to their membership or association with the Almighty Latin Kings and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) gang.
Martinez admitted that he committed a series of robberies from 2004 to 2006 at the direction of the Latin Kings, using his position as a Chicago police officer to facilitate the robberies. Martinez admitted that he was wearing his Chicago Police Department badge and department-issued weapon when he committed the robberies, which included those of drug traffickers in Rockford, Ill.; Chicago; and East Chicago, Ind. In one instance, Martinez admitted to participating in the armed robbery at the home of a deceased Latin Dragon gang leader in Hammond, Ind. In addition, Martinez admitted that he picked up and delivered packages of cocaine on multiple occasions for two Latin Kings leaders.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 14, 2012. At sentencing, Martinez faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The investigation of Martinez was conducted by the Chicago City Public Corruption Task Force, a Chicago Police Department- Internal Affairs and FBI Chicago law enforcement initiative. The investigation of the remaining defendants was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; U.S. Immigration and Custom Office of Homeland Security Investigations; the National Gang Targeting, Enforcement & Coordination Center; the National Gang Intelligence Center; the Chicago Police Department; the East Chicago Police Department; the Griffith, Ind., Police Department; the Hammond Police Department; the Highland, Ind., Police Department; and the Houston Police Department.
The cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Joseph A. Cooley of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Nozick of the Northern District of Indiana.