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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Federal jury convicts SNM gang member of murder, racketeering and firearm possession

             ALBQUERQUE, N.M. – A federal jury in Albuquerque returned guilty verdicts on March 16, convicting Jody Rufino Martinez, 41, of Truchas, New Mexico, of murder, participation in a Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) conspiracy, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition for conduct related to the Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico (“SNM”) prison gang. The jury acquitted Martinez on one count of witness tampering.

             According to public court records, Martinez has been a member and self-identified “soldier” of the SNM prison gang since 1998.  Martinez has committed numerous violent crimes on behalf of the SNM since joining the gang.  These crimes included the murder of a victim on Dec. 5, 2008 in Rio Arriba County for failing to deliver drugs to an SNM gang member. On Oct. 24, 2018, Martinez knowingly possessed a firearm and ammunition when he shot a victim at a residence in Santa Fe County as retaliation for supposedly disrespecting the SNM.  As a previously convicted felon, Martinez cannot legally possess a firearm or ammunition.

             Martinez is currently in custody awaiting sentencing.  He faces a mandatory life sentence for the murder conviction, and a sentence of up to life on the RICO conspiracy conviction.

             The FBI, New Mexico State Police, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico Department of Corrections investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Las Cruces Branch Office are prosecuting the case as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, a nationwide Department of Justice program that combines the resources and unique expertise of federal agencies, along with their local counterparts, in a coordinated effort to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
21-52
Updated March 18, 2021