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Mind Pilot

Registered: 02/09/09
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Sheriff Busted On Pot Charges
    #416462 - 05/12/10 04:49 PM (6 years, 5 months ago)

BENTON – Federal drug trafficking and weapons charges led to the Monday arrest of veteran Gallatin County Sheriff Raymond M.  Martin, who is accused in a criminal complaint of dealing marijuana while on duty and in uniform.

Martin, sheriff since 1990, is charged with three counts of distribution of marijuana and two counts of carrying a firearm during and in relation to drug trafficking, according to the complaint filed in federal court in Benton.

The distribution charges allege Martin, 46, distributed a total of more than 1,000 grams of marijuana between April 27 and May 11, while the weapons charges allege he carried a stainless steel revolver during the drug sales.

Martin, who was arrested at his office in Shawneetown, became the target of investigators with Illinois State Police/Southern Illinois Drug Task Force and U.S.  Drug Enforcement Administration in November 2008 when a person identified only as a confidential source reported being given two pounds of marijuana by Martin, who allegedly asked the source to “get rid of that,” court documents said.

An alleged distribution deal would result in a 50-50 split of proceeds between the sheriff and the source, court documents allege.

Further investigation resulted in the April 23 video and audio surveillance of the source and Martin, who was allegedly wearing his sheriff’s uniform and driving his official vehicle, a black Ford Expedition, when he allegedly collected a partial payment from the source for marijuana he had “fronted,” court documents allege.

Martin, a resident of Junction, was also allegedly caught on video April 27 as he handed over a pound of marijuana to the source.

During a May 4 video and audio surveillance in which Martin allegedly received cash from the source, again a partial payment for the “fronted” marijuana, Martin was allegedly recorded telling the source that he wanted to get rid of drug trafficking “competition” in Gallatin County and that he was “gonna try and put the fear of God in him ( the competition ) and see if we can get him out of business.”

Other information in the complaint alleges Martin said he would deliver marijuana to the source after picking it up “at the courthouse” and that Martin said he had a friend with connections to the Gangster Disciples who could get marijuana at discounted prices.

The source also relayed a conversation he said he had about breaking off the distribution relationship with Martin.

“On one of the occasions, Martin withdrew his service revolver from its holster, pointed it towards the ( source ) and told the ( source ) there was no ‘getting out,’” the complaint alleged.

The source also said Martin would make him “disappear” if he ever turned informant, the complaint alleged.

The source said the alleged threats prompted him to seek help from authorities, the complaint said.

Martin made his first appearance in court Monday afternoon.  A preliminary and detention hearing has been scheduled for 1:15 p.m.  Wednesday at the U.S.  Courthouse in Benton.

The ongoing investigation is being led by the Carmi office of the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force and ISP with the assistance of the DEA, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Mount Vernon Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M.  Cutchin.

Copyright: 2009 Southern Illinoisan
Contact: letters@TheSouthern.com
Website: http://www.TheSouthern.com/
Author: Becky Malkovich


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