Dominican Republic Native Pleads Guilty to Smuggling $2 Million in Heroin Nearly 6 Years After His Flight from Justice
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -A New York resident pleaded guilty in federal court to charges involving heroin and fentanyl trafficking, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Erick Alexander Martinez, age 33, of Croton-on-Hudson, New York, pleaded guilty before Senior United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer to Count One of an Indictment charging him with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl.
In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that on January 30, 2019, investigators with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pennsylvania State Police Drug Law Enforcement Division executed a search warrant at an apartment located in Pittsburgh, which was utilized by Martinez and his alleged coconspirators, Brandon Winters and Eduard Rijo. Upon entry into the apartment, case agents located Winters, Rijo, and Martinez, approximately 1,500 "bricks" (the equivalent of roughly 75,000 individual dosage units) containing mixtures of heroin and fentanyl. Additionally, case agents seized over $250,000 in U.S. Currency, which was found in and around Mr. Martinez and his alleged coconspirators.
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for September 15, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine not to exceed $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jerome A. Moschetta and Tonya Sulia Goodman are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Martinez.