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IL Sheriff on Trial for Drug Trafficking, Witness Tampering

  1. Moving Pictures
    Benton, Ill. —
    The first witness was called Tuesday morning in the federal drug-trafficking, weapons and witness-tampering trial of Gallatin County Sheriff Raymond Martin.

    Jeremy Potts testified about his involvement in a marijuana business with Martin. His testimony will continue Tuesday afternoon - Potts is expected to be on the stand all day.

    Potts was laid off around November 2008 and in need of money. About Thanksgiving, Martin arrived at Potts' mobile home to speak with him.
    "I assumed he was there to question me, so I hopped in the vehicle to see what was going on," Potts said.

    The topic went from casual conversation to possibly starting a marijuana business.

    "He offered me a job, basically," Potts said.

    They agreed Potts would sell marijuana provided by Martin, who would take his investment and half the profit from the money made through sales.

    Martin told Potts never to mention the arrangement to anyone else, according to Potts' testimony.

    Martin delivered marijuana to Potts several times. Potts sold the marijuana and gave Martin's investment and profit back.

    Potts testified he was arrested on Jan. 24, 2009. He had gone to Carmi to get some Xanax with some of the profits from the drug business, Potts said. Martin had told him to go ahead and buy what he could with some of their recent profit. Potts went to a bar in Harrisburg to sell some of the Xanax, but discovered his father was working there as a disc jockey that night, which meant he couldn't sell anything. Potts testified he gave away a few so people would know he had a large amount to sell. He also took some and drank some beer. Potts then drove to Eldorado and got arrested.

    The Xanax, about $1,200 and Potts' Kia were seized after the arrest. Martin helped arrange bond through Potts' girlfriend, Miranda Willis, who actually posted the bond. About half came from Martin, Potts testified.

    Potts was in the Saline County Detention Center six days. A couple days after his release, Martin picked him up and they went for a ride through the country.

    "He was really upset that day," Potts said.

    Martin learned Potts had mentioned his name and their drug arrangement to his cellmate, Earl Kincaid, Potts testified.

    "He had laid his revolver in his lap and informed me his name had been let out," Potts said.

    Once he realized Potts was scared, Martin put away the revolver, Potts said.

    Potts sold marijuana for a while longer to eliminate his debt to Martin, he testified. But Potts wanted out, and eventually talked to Martin about ending the arrangement in late March.

    "I gave him a ton of excuses why," Potts said.

    Martin threatened Potts with a stretch in prison or worse if he tried to leave the business, Potts said.

    "He told me that was not an option and I could be eliminated," Potts said.

    By Eric Fodor
    Harrisburg Daily Register
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 @ 12:24 PM

    http://www.bentoneveningnews.com/topstories/x718557503/Martin-Trial-Begins-In-Benton

    commet: "This sheriff is also on trial for hiring two jail inmates to kill witnesses in the case. His wife and son are also on trial for being accomplices in the murder for hire plot."

Comments

  1. godztear
    This has been on the television news quite often lately in this area since it is so local. This officer was actually selling drugs right from his police car, well allegedly *wink wink*
  2. Moving Pictures
    Yeah, I guess we're not too far from each other then. It's all over my local news as well. This is a really interesting case. Espeically him trying to hire those guys to kill the witnesses, then his wife and son getting busted for it too. I don't know why he isn't charged with conspiracy to committ murder though.
  3. Moving Pictures
    Jury finds area sheriff guilty on all counts

    GALLATIN COUNTY, Ill. - The jury in the trial of Gallatin County Sheriff Raymond Martin found him guilty on all counts against him.

    Martin was arrested in may of last year on charges of murder for hire and possession of illegal drugs.

    The murder for hire charges were eventually dropped at the state level because he faced similar charges at the federal level.

    The 12-member jury returned a verdict after about three hours of deliberation.

    There was over 100 pieces of evidence presented in this case including over a dozen witnesses who testified Martin knew all along what he was doing and actively participated in exchaning drugs.

    The 15 counts on which the jury found Martin guilty include three for distributing marijuana, two for possessing a firearm while distributing the drugs, one count of conspiring to distribute the drugs. Counts seven through 14 involve different types of wtiness tampering from threatening
    the witnesses with physical force or urging them not to testify.

    Count 15 involves aiding and abetting currency transactions.

    As the verdicts were being read, Martin was seen sitting with no reaction on his face but family members were consoling each other.

    The jury will be back on Monday, looking at whether to proceed with a forefeiture count regarding his property. Local 6 will have more on that tonight during our 6 p.m. broadcast.

    Reporter - Robert Bradfield
    WPSD Local 6
    Story Created: Sep 23, 2010 at 4:30 PM CDT
    Story Updated: Sep 23, 2010 at 4:58 PM CDT
    http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Jury-finds-area-sheriff-guilty-on-all-counts.html
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