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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Former Police Officer Charged In White Plains Federal Court With Quadruple Homicide

Four Victims of Alleged Homicide Had Not Been Seen or Heard From Since April 11, 2016

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), George P. Beach II, the Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), and Peter J. Graziano, Jr., Chief of the Village of Chester Police Department (“Chester PD”), announced charges against NICHOLAS TARTAGLIONE, a retired police officer, for a quadruple murder committed in Chester, New York, in April 2016.  TARTAGLIONE was arrested yesterday and charged in a five-count Indictment for his participation in a conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms and more of cocaine and for the murders of Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna, and Hector Gutierrez in furtherance of that conspiracy.  He was presented in White Plains federal court yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “While all murders tear at the fabric of our communities, when the alleged perpetrator of a gangland-style, quadruple homicide is a former police officer, that strikes at the heart of civilized society.  As alleged, Nicholas Tartaglione, a former Briarcliff Manor police officer, participated in the senseless murder of four people in a bar in Chester, New York.  These four men had not been seen or heard from since the day of their alleged murder.  We hope that today’s arrest brings some measure of comfort to the victims’ families and loved ones.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. stated:  “The despicable acts of murder are more egregious in this case because the alleged murderer, a former police officer, once swore to serve and protect people from harm.  The FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force works day after day to battle the crimes that accompany the drug trade to keep criminals and their illegal actions from impacting innocent people.  We hope the victims’ families and community find some solace in an arrest being made.”

NYSP Superintendent George P. Beach II said:  “Once again the work of a strong law enforcement partnership has resulted in an alleged dangerous man being taken off the streets.  These brutal murders are prime examples of the dangerous crimes that are associated with drug distribution.  Narcotics destroy communities and put lives at risk. State Police and our partners will continue to work together to rid our communities of these dangerous substances, and the violence that comes with them.”

Chester PD Chief Peter Graziano, Jr. stated:  “I am grateful for the hard work everyone put into this case and the cooperation of the agencies involved.  This unspeakable crime shows how destructive the drug trade is and why we must all endeavor to continue the fight.  This scourge is not limited to large urban areas, but small rural ones as well.  I hope the victims’ families can find some peace and closure as a result of this arrest.”

As alleged in the Indictment filed today in White Plains federal court[1]:

From June 2015 up to April 2016, TARTAGLIONE and others conspired to sell five kilograms or more of cocaine.  In April 2016, TARTAGLIONE participated in the killing of Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna, and Hector Gutierrez in furtherance of that cocaine distribution conspiracy, some of whom were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The murders all took place in and around a bar called the Likquid Lounge in Chester, New York. 

*                      *                     *

A chart containing the charges and maximum penalties faced by TARTAGLIONE, 49, of Otisville, New York, is attached.  The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the New York State Police, and the Village of Chester Police Department.  Mr. Bharara also thanked the City of Middletown Police Department for its assistance in the case.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Maurene Comey and Michael Gerber are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

United States v. Nicholas Tartaglione, S1 16 Cr. 832 (KMK)

 

CHARGES

MAXIMUM PENALTIES

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

Life in prison

Mandatory minimum:
10 years in prison

Murder of Martin Luna in furtherance of a conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

Life in prison or death

Mandatory minimum:
20 years in prison

Murder of Urbano Santiago in furtherance of a conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

Life in prison or death

Mandatory minimum:

20 years in prison

Murder of Miguel Luna in furtherance of a conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

Life in prison or death

Mandatory minimum:

20 years in prison

Murder of Hector Gutierrez in furtherance of a conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

Life in prison or death

Mandatory minimum:

20 years in prison

 

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the descriptions of the Indictment set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
16-343
Updated December 20, 2016