News and Press Releases

Auburn Man, Armed with Stolen Firearm, Dealt Cocaine from Home He Shared with 10-Year-Old Son

January 9, 2009

ROBERTO MARTINEZ, 33, of Auburn Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release for Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute and Possession of a Stolen Firearm. MARTINEZ was arrested March 17, 2008, following three drug sales to a confidential informant for the Auburn Police Department. When members of the Valley Special Response Team (VSRT) and Auburn Police Department (APD) served a warrant on MARTINEZ’ residence they found drugs, cash, a scale and a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol sticking out from under the mattress of Martinez’s bed. The weapon had been reported stolen to the Auburn Police Department. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said both the crimes and the defendant’s prior convictions were serious.

According to filings in the case, MARTINEZ has five prior felony convictions in Snohomish County, Washington. Two convictions in 1999 for Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver; one conviction for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (1999); Possession of Cocaine (1994) and Assault Second Degree (1993).

In asking for the lengthy sentence, Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo highlighted the danger of dealing drugs from the home MARTINEZ shared with his 10-year-old son. “Martinez’s decision to deal drugs out of the home he shared with his son placed them both in danger each time they opened the door. Moreover, his decision to keep a loaded firearm next to his bed did not lessen such danger. If anything, that decision increased the potential for harm since the firearm was just as likely to harm his curious ten-year-old son as it was to protect him,” Colasurdo wrote in his sentencing memo.

MARTINEZ was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. Unveiled by President George W. Bush in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement. PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and then providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed. Implementation at the local level -- in this case, in King County-- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement

The case was investigated by the Auburn Police Department, Valley Special Response Team (VSRT), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo. Mr. Colasurdo is a Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute gun and drug crimes in federal court.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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