Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Ex-cop and onetime cellmate of Jeffrey Epstein sentenced for kidnapping, killing 4 over drug deal

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun2,2024

NEW YORK (TCD) — A police officer turned drug dealer and onetime cellmate of Jeffrey Epstein will spend the rest of his life behind bars for fatally strangling a man over alleged drug money and shooting three others who witnessed his death.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced June 10 that a judge sentenced 56-year-old Nicholas Tartaglione to four consecutive life sentences for orchestrating the April 2016 kidnappings and slayings of Martin Luna, his nephews Miguel Luna and Urbano Santiago, and Martin Luna’s friend Hector Gutierrez. Tartaglione was convicted of 11 counts of murder, four counts of kidnapping resulting in death, one count of kidnapping conspiracy, and one count of narcotics conspiracy.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, between June 2015 up until around April 2016, Tartaglione and others “conspired to sell 5 kilograms or more cocaine.” Tartaglione reportedly believed Martin Luna had stolen around $250,000 meant for the purchase of cocaine.

Prosecutors said Tartaglione “devised a scheme to confront Martin at a meeting,” and the victim brought his two nephews and Gutierrez “unaware he was being lured into a deadly trap.”

Tartaglione reportedly restrained and beat Martin Luna for over an hour. According to prosecutors, Martin Luna failed to tell the defendant where the missing money was, so Tartaglione used a zip tie to strangle him to death in front of his nephews and friend.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said the three were “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Tartaglione and two of his associates reportedly brought Miguel Luna, Santiago, and Gutierrez to a remote area, where they were fatally shot in the back of the head execution-style.

The defendant buried all four victims on his property in Otisville, New York, and the FBI’s Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force eventually found the mass grave in December 2016.

The judge presiding over the case called Tartaglione a “monster” who failed to show any remorse for his actions.

In June 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced a 17-count superseding indictment against Joseph Biggs, one of Tartaglione’s alleged associates in the case. Biggs reportedly worked as a school security guard.

According to The Associated Press, Tartaglione once shared a cell with Jeffrey Epstein in 2019. Epstein, who had previously been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor, was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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