Port Arthur Man Convicted for Federal Violations Related to Port Acres Murder
BEAUMONT, Texas - A 35-year-old Port Arthur, Texas man has been found guilty by a jury for federal violations related to the murder of a Port Acres woman in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
Sabino Orlando Martinez was found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, conspiracy to use and carry firearms during a crime of violence, and conspiracy to possess firearms during a drug trafficking crime following a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone today. After the opening statement by the prosecutor, the defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine. The trial proceeded on the remaining three charges of which the jury found him guilty after approximately one hour.
According to information presented in court, beginning in 2001, Martinez and others started robbing women in the parking lots of stores and businesses in Port Arthur, Texas. Evidence showed the defendants committed the robberies for the purpose of supporting their crack cocaine habits. The robberies increased to almost daily between 2009 and 2011. During the investigation of these crimes, it was discovered that Martinez and his co-defendants were responsible for the May 14, 2010 death of Allison Neil Clark, of Port Acres, Texas. Clark was shot while driving on West Port Arthur Road. Once law enforcement officers became aware of Martinez’s co-defendant’s vehicle in the area, they were quickly able to focus on Martinez’s involvement. Video surveillance from area businesses verified the vehicle’s presence in the area at the time of the shooting. Testimony at trial was that Martinez fired the shot that killed Clark. Martinez was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 4, 2016.
“This conviction of Sabine Orlando Martinez concludes the prosecution of two very dangerous men, who for more than ten years terrorized innocent Jefferson County victims by robbing, threatening, exploiting, and eventually killing one of their "lambs" they targeted for attack and theft,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “A tenacious team of dedicated investigators, Alton Baise, of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office; Paul Arvizo, of the Port Arthur Police Department; and Mike Hebert, of the Port Arthur Police Department, refused to let this cold case die. Joined by Assistant U.S. Attorney and prosecutor, Lesley Woods, this team worked night and day, turning over every stone to bring Allison's killer to justice. That happened today!”
Under federal statutes, Martinez faces up to 100 years in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was investigated by the Port Arthur Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Woods.