New Haven Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Distribution and Gun Possession Offenses

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOEL MARTINEZ, JR., 23, of New Haven, pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to narcotics distribution and firearm possession offenses.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on September 17, 2020, during a court-authorized search of a New Haven hotel room being used by Martinez to process and package narcotics, law enforcement seized a loaded Glock model 26, 9mm pistol with an obliterated serial number; a box of 9mm ammunition; approximately 51 grams of crack cocaine; approximately 136 grams of heroin; 12 digital scales; three blenders; other items used to process and package narcotics; and $1,825 in cash.  Martinez was arrested on state charges at that time.

Martinez pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, heroin and fentanyl, and to one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall on July 18 at which time he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

Martinez has been detained since his federal arrest on October 14, 2020.

This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force, New Haven Police Department and New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara E. Levens.