DEA Agent And International Narcotics Trafficker Each Plead Guilty In Connection With Decade-Long Narcotics Conspiracy
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that FERNANDO GOMEZ and JOSE MARTINEZ-DIAZ, a/k/a “Tony Zinc,” pled guilty in Manhattan federal court to charges related to a decade-long narcotics conspiracy. GOMEZ, who was an active agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) until his arrest in December 2018, pled guilty today to a narcotics conspiracy involving the distribution of cocaine. As part of his plea, Gomez agreed that he supplied guns to MARTINEZ-DIAZ. MARTINEZ-DIAZ pled guilty on July 29 to his participation in a racketeering conspiracy involving the enterprise known as La Organizacion de Narcotraficantes Unidos (“La ONU”). As part of his plea, MARTINEZ-DIAZ agreed that his participation in the enterprise involved the distribution of at least 450 kilograms of cocaine and two attempted murders.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “DEA Special Agent Fernando Gomez violated the very laws he swore to enforce. Rather than uphold the nation’s drug laws, for over a decade he helped a major drug trafficker, Jose Martinez-Diaz, get away with his crimes. This case exemplifies the enduring commitment of this Office, along with our law enforcement partners, of preserving the highest degree of integrity for law enforcement from within. And with the guilty pleas of Gomez and Martinez-Diaz, justice will now be served.”
According to the Indictment, statements made during public court proceedings, and public court filings:
GOMEZ, while working as a detective with the City of Evanston Police Department in Illinois, transported firearms to Puerto Rico and provided those firearms to MARTINEZ-DIAZ. After joining the DEA, GOMEZ helped members of the narcotics conspiracy, including MARTINEZ-DIAZ, evade detection by law enforcement.
La ONU was a criminal enterprise involved in the trafficking of cocaine from Puerto Rico to the Bronx, New York. The cocaine was distributed in New York, including out of a daycare center in the Bronx, New York. Members and associates of La ONU also engaged in acts of violence, including murder, to protect and expand the enterprise’s criminal operations and in connection with rivalries with other criminal organizations.
MARTINEZ-DIAZ was a high volume cocaine trafficker who supplied La ONU members with drugs that were transported from the Dominican Republic. La ONU further distributed the cocaine, including in the Southern District of New York. Martinez-Diaz smuggled the narcotics from the Dominican Republic, usually by boat. In connection with his membership in La ONU, Martinez-Diaz was involved in the distribution of over 5,000 kilograms of cocaine.
Martinez-Diaz funded and assisted La ONU in its fight against its rival, La Rompe ONU. For example, Martinez-Diaz provided money to La ONU members to purchase firearms. In addition, Martinez-Diaz and others created a fake Puerto Rico Police Department patrol car. Members of La ONU used the fake patrol car to harass and intimidate members of La Rompe ONU, and to conduct shootings.
In or about 2007, Martinez-Diaz ordered a shootout in Puerto Rico. The target of the shootout was shot but survived.
On another occasion, Martinez-Diaz paid an individual $5,000 in connection with the attempted murder of a rival drug dealer.
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FERNANDO GOMEZ, 42, of Chicago, Illinois, pled guilty to one count of participating in a narcotics conspiracy involving the distribution of cocaine, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. MARTINEZ-DIAZ, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, pled guilty to one count of participating in a racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Sentencing for GOMEZ is scheduled for November 21, 2019; sentencing for MARTINEZ-DIAZ is scheduled for November 26, 2019 at 3:30 p.m.
The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence for the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of United States Postal Inspection Service, DEA, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Estes, Andrew Thomas, Lara Pomerantz, and Allison Nichols are in charge of the prosecution.