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martinez sentenced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2010

 

OPERATION GATORBAIT DRUG DEFENDANT SENTENCED TO 188 MONTHS

BATON ROUGE, LA - United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. announced today that NICK HENRY MARTINEZ, age 30, Houston, Texas, was sentenced today in federal court by Chief Judge Ralph E. Tyson. MARTINEZ was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment, followed by a term of supervised release of five years, and a $300 special assessment.

MARTINEZ, a Houston resident, supplied cocaine to Willie Jones, who ran one of the largest cocaine distribution organizations prosecuted in the district. MARTINEZ previously pled guilty to conspiring with Willie Jones, Jr., Kenya Smith, Malchai L. Tillman, Dedrick Dionell Turner, Courtney Demon Clayton, Kimberly Shawn Smith, Reginald D. Allen, Dwayne T. Wicker, Troy A. Johnson, Jason Tyrone Patterson, Jose Ricardo Ramirez, Suzanna Marie Voelker, Jose Angel Ramirez, Mario Arteaga, and Roberto Truijillo to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and fifty grams or more of crack cocaine. All of the defendants have been convicted.

These charges were a result of “Operation Gator Bait,” an extensive investigation conducted by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the Middle District of Louisiana. The OCDETF is a multi-agency task force formed to investigate and prosecute criminal groups and individuals who organize, direct, finance, or are otherwise engaged in high level drug trafficking and related financial crimes. The OCDETF is comprised of agents from the Baton Rouge Resident Office of Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, and the U.S. Marshal's Service. Other participating members in this OCDETF investigation included the Louisiana Alcohol, Tobacco Control Board, the Louisiana State Police, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff=s Office, the Ascension Parish Sheriff=s Office, the Baton Rouge Police Department, and the Gonzales Police Department. This OCDETF investigation was coordinated by the United States Attorney's Office, with Deputy Criminal Chief Jennifer Kleinpeter serving as the OCDETF prosecutor.

United States Attorney Cazayoux remarked, “This case is an excellent example of the complicated multi-state drug trafficking investigations that the federal government is uniquely equipped to handle. The Baton Rouge DEA office and local law enforcement officials worked closely with the Houston DEA office to make certain that not only the local cocaine distributors, but also their sources in Houston were identified and prosecuted in order to dismantle the entire drug trafficking organization. ”

This OCDETF operation successfully identified eleven local members of the drug trafficking organization and the five Houston residents who were supplying the cocaine to the Baton Rouge organization. The Houston residents were also prosecuted in this case.

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