News and Press Releases

Local Cocaine Trafficker Sentenced To Five Years In Prison

January 23, 2007

Las Vegas, Nev. – The leader of a local cocaine distribution ring was sentenced today to five years in prison for distributing kilo-quantities of cocaine in the Las Vegas area and hiding the profits in the names of others, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Manuel Martinez, Jr., age 29, of Las Vegas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro to the 60-month prison sentence, to be followed by four years of supervised release. Martinez, Jr. pleaded guilty in October 2006 to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, admitting that from about January 24, 2003, to March 2, 2005, he conspired with Luis Melendez, Vincente Saucedo, Isabel Quinones, Mireya Hernandez, Eliseo Melendez, Anthony D'Anna, Karla Cota, and others to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and to conceal and disguise the source of funds earned from the drug trafficking operation.

"No more will this drug dealer fuel the illicit local drug market with kilos of cocaine to the detriment of our community," said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "Through the outstanding efforts of the U.S. Attorney's Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, and IRS, we took this drug trafficker's ill-gotten gain - money, drugs and six homes, put him and his partners out of business, and sent him to federal prison. Manuel Martinez and his drug operation have been dismantled."

According to the court records, in February 2005, Martinez, Jr. provided five kilograms of cocaine to Eliseo Melendez, who in turn provided the same cocaine to Anthony D'Anna. Martinez, Jr. also conspired with co-defendant Dianne Polo and others to conceal the source of funds used to purchase a residence at 4890 East Philadelphia, in Las Vegas. The residence was placed in Polo's name, and the funds used to purchase the residence were earned from Martinez Jr.'s drug trafficking operation.

As part of his plea, Martinez, Jr. consented to the forfeiture of approximately $1.1 million, to include six homes: at 41 Fallen Tree Court, in Henderson, Nevada; 461 and 489 Sunset Villa Drive, in Las Vegas, Nevada; 3660 Kemper Lakes Street, in Las Vegas, Nevada; 4890 East Philadelphia Avenue, in Las Vegas, Nevada; and 6000 Osprey Point Avenue, in Las Vegas, Nevada; and currency in several bank accounts in the names of the defendant and his mother Nayda Pesqueira, and Rodriguez Furniture and Manny's Leather.

Other defendants convicted in the conspiracy are Hiram Martinez, age 28, (pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing); Luis Melendez, age 27, (sentenced to 21 months in prison on November 17, 2006); Vincente Saucedo, age 41, (sentenced to 37 months in prison on January 4, 2007); Isabel Quinones, age 34, (pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing); Mireya Hernandez, age 28, (sentenced to five years of probation on January 19, 2007); Diane Polo, age 28, (sentenced to three years of probation on December 8, 2006); Eliseo Melendez, age 33, (sentenced to 57 months in prison on November 20, 2006); Anthony D'Anna, age 27, (sentenced to 33 months in prison on December 29, 2006); Nayda Pesqueira, age 49, (sentenced to three years probation on January 4, 2007); and Karla Cota, age 27, (sentenced to five years of probation on January 19, 2007).

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS Criminal Investigation, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amber M. Craig, Ray Gattinella, and Daniel D. Hollingsworth.

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