TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a drug dealer from Atlantic County was sentenced to state prison today as a result of two separate arrests that led to seizures of cocaine, heroin, a handgun, and more than $48,000 in cash.
Bryan Martinez, 29, of Galloway, N.J., was sentenced today to 13 years in prison, including 6 ½ years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Rodney Cunningham in Atlantic County. He was ordered to forfeit over $48,000 seized during one of the arrests. The charges stem from investigations by the Division of Criminal Justice, Galloway Township Police, and New Jersey State Police.
Deputy Attorney General Jamey Collidge prosecuted Martinez and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Erik Daab and Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis.
“Martinez demonstrated that if left on the street, he will go back to his old tricks of dealing dangerous drugs while armed with a handgun,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We have ensured that this menace to the community will remain safely behind bars for a long time.”
“This lengthy prison sentence holds Martinez accountable for the serious narcotics and weapons offenses he committed,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Through our proactive investigation and some excellent police work by the Galloway Township Police and the New Jersey State Police, we have put this repeat offender behind bars, where he can no longer profit from the addiction that is destroying so many lives in our communities.”
The first arrest was the result of an investigation in which the Division of Criminal Justice developed information that Martinez was dealing drugs out of his residence. Members of the Galloway Township Police Department stopped Martinez’s vehicle on Nov. 29, 2017, at the request of the Division of Criminal Justice, which had obtained a search warrant for his vehicle. Galloway detectives found $3,598 cash on Martinez and $45,000 in the vehicle. Also in the vehicle, detectives found a .38 Special revolver and small quantities of heroin and cocaine. Because Martinez had prior drug convictions, he was prohibited from possessing a gun.
Martinez was arrested again on Dec. 6, 2018, when a member of the New Jersey State Police stopped Martinez’s vehicle in Port Republic, N.J., after he failed to obey a stop sign. The state trooper smelled the odor of burnt marijuana and placed Martinez under arrest. The trooper then searched Martinez’s vehicle and located over 10 ounces of cocaine in a hidden compartment next to the steering wheel.
Martinez pleaded guilty in both cases on March 21, 2019. In relation to the second arrest, he pleaded guilty to first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He was sentenced today to 13 years in prison, including 6 ½ years without parole, on that charge. In relation to the first arrest, he pleaded guilty to second-degree charges of certain persons not to have weapons and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He was sentenced today to seven years in prison, including five years without parole, on the certain persons charge, and seven years, including three years without parole, on the cocaine charge. Those sentences will run concurrently with each other and the longer cocaine sentence.
Darrin M. Lord, Esq., Northfield, N.J.