Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that JOSE MARTINEZ-DIAZ, a/k/a “Tony Zinc,” who supplied over 5,000 kilograms of cocaine to the Puerto-Rico-based drug alliance, La Organización de Narcotraficantes Unidos (“La ONU”), was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman to 20 years in prison. MARTINEZ-DIAZ previously pled guilty to participating in a racketeering conspiracy.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Jose Martinez-Diaz supplied a staggering quantity of cocaine, a dangerous and addictive drug, to a violent drug trafficking organization. Some of the cocaine he supplied came to New York, where it was distributed out of, among other places, a daycare center in the Bronx. To ensure his drug business flourished, Martinez-Diaz brokered violence and even used corrupt law enforcement officials. Today Jose Martinez-Diaz was rightly sentenced to a lengthy prison term for his horrific crimes.”
According to the Indictment, other filings in this case, and statements during court proceedings:
MARTINEZ-DIAZ was a high-volume cocaine trafficker who supplied over 5,000 kilograms of cocaine to La ONU, a criminal enterprise involved in shipping thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to New York. Cocaine from La ONU was then distributed in New York City, 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. In particular, members of the enterprise were ordered to shoot and kill suspected rival drug trafficking members.
MARTINEZ-DIAZ, or those working on his behalf, smuggled cocaine from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, usually by boat. The shipments often occurred as frequently as once per week, with such shipments containing 130 to 160 kilograms of cocaine. MARTINEZ-DIAZ would then parcel out the shipments to La ONU members.
MARTINEZ-DIAZ used the machinery of La ONU to protect his narcotics trade. For example, MARTINEZ-DIAZ arranged for corrupt members of the Puerto Rico Police Department (“PRPD”) to locate rival drug dealers and effect unwarranted traffic stops to control their movements or to isolate them until others from La ONU could attack them.
In or about 2007, MARTINEZ-DIAZ ordered a shooting on Avenue Monserrate in Carolina, Puerto Rico. The target was shot, but survived.
On another occasion, MARTINEZ-DIAZ paid a police officer $5,000 in connection with the attempted murder of a rival drug dealer known as “Taliban.” The intended victim was shot, but survived.
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 PRPD patrol car. Members of La ONU used the fake patrol car to harass and intimidate members of La Rompe ONU, and to conduct shootings.
MARTINEZ-DIAZ also worked with a corrupt Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) agent, who helped MARTINEZ-DIAZ and others in the narcotics conspiracy evade detection by law enforcement.
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In addition to the prison term, Judge Furman sentenced MARTINEZ-DIAZ, 48, of Puerto Rico, to three years of supervised release, and ordered him to forfeit $6.875 million.
Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the DEA, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the New York City Police Department. Mr. Williams also thanked the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Police Department for their support in this ongoing investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lara Pomerantz, Justin Rodriguez, and Andrew Thomas are in charge of the prosecution.