News and Press Releases

Wisconsin Leader of Texas Based Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2013

United States Attorney James L. Santelle announced today that United States District Judge Rudolf Randa sentenced Randy Martinez a.k.a Robin Lee Martinez, (age:30) of Sheboygan to ten years and four months in prison for his role in the Balderas Organization drug trafficking activities involving kilos of cocaine and marijuana transported from Texas to Wisconsin. Martinez, who pled guilty to these charges, was arrested on May 29, 2012 and detained in federal custody.

According to documents filed in court, beginning in the mid 1990's, the Balderas Drug Organization transported cocaine and marijuana from Texas to Wisconsin, where the price was much higher than in Texas. Instrumental in the Balderas Organization’s ability to sell drugs in Wisconsin was Randy Martinez’s role as leader of the organization in Wisconsin. The Balderas Organization was involved in conspiring to transport over 5 kilograms of cocaine and over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana to Wisconsin, including Sheboygan and Manitowoc Counties and the surrounding areas.

The Balderas Organization used different techniques to transport marijuana and cocaine from Texas to Wisconsin. One of the techniques utilized relied on the use of two cars; one would be filled with the narcotics, and the other would have members of the organization follow behind and make sure nothing went wrong with the load.  The Balderas Organization would fill a car with hidden narcotics in Texas and have it driven to Wisconsin by individuals often recruited by Randy Martinez to act as couriers.  The individuals recruited were persons they thought would not raise suspicions at the border crossings in Texas, with the hope that they would be able to cross the border and not be stopped by authorities.

With the help of Randy Martinez, the Balderas Organization devised a complex and successful system to conduct their illegal affairs.  Members of the Balderas Organization would get vehicles in Texas, either by renting them, buying them, or using vehicles belonging to others and would have them loaded with under 50 pounds of marijuana, (as such loads, if found in Texas, were often just seized, and those involved in the transport were released without charges).  The loads were then transported by others (often by individuals Randy Martinez recruited in Wisconsin) and contained marijuana and/or cocaine.  The Balderas Organization also used the bus service, postal service and others forms of transportation to bring drugs to Wisconsin.  Regardless of the method used, Randy Martinez was instrumental to finding the workers, supervising them, and making sure they did their jobs.

Randy Martinez also shielded some of the members of the Balderas Organization from being linked to the organization; he controlled the Wisconsin distribution of narcotics, and played an integral part in the money laundering of funds for the Balderas Organization.  When a load was brought from Texas to Wisconsin, Randy Martinez would cut up the narcotics, and distribute it to customers for the Balderas Organization.  In addition, Randy Martinez was involved in recruiting individuals to receive packages mailed from Texas to Wisconsin, and for the distribution in Sheboygan and Milwaukee.  He was also in charge of deposits made into various bank accounts controlled by the Balderas Organization from Wisconsin to Texas. Randy Martinez would direct individuals to send payment via wire transfer, bulk cash smuggling, and on their person to various individuals and accounts in Texas so as to help the Balderas Organization receive its profits.  Bank records support that through a complex bank account scheme, the Balderas Organization was able to launder, at least $300,000.00 and up to $500,000.00 dollars.

At sentencing Assistant United States Attorney Karine Moreno-Taxman described Randy Martinez as the key participant in Wisconsin and that he was responsible for making sure the Balderas Organization was viable in Wisconsin.

This investigation was successful because of a cooperative effort by the Sheboygan County Metro Drug Enforcement Group, the Manitowoc County Metro Drug Enforcement Group; the Manitowoc District Attorney’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Criminal Division of the Internal Revenue Service.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karine Moreno-Taxman.


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