BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced on Dec. 14 that Elina Martinez, 64, of Miami, FL, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute, and distribute, 400 grams or more of fentanyl.
The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that on Dec. 7, 2022, a Jamestown Police Detective requested a uniformed patrol officer to conduct a traffic stop of a vehicle that had committed a number of traffic violations. The vehicle was being driven by Martinez, who produced a Florida driver’s license, as well as the car rental paperwork for the vehicle.
After being stopped, the officer observed Martinez make furtive movements, so he requested that she exit the vehicle. With permission, the officer searched the vehicle and discovered a suspicious powder residue in a suitcase.
Two K9 dogs were brought to the scene and each alerted to the presence of “drugs” in the area of the driver’s side and officers found a plastic bag of pills secreted in the battery of the car. Following a more extensive search, officers recovered approximately 9 lbs. 13 oz. of blue pills, which field tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.
The seized blue pills labeled “m30,” which have an approximate value of approximately $1.3 million, are a counterfeit replica of the authentic M30 Oxycodone tablet. Due to the rash of fatalities attributed to fentanyl overdoses, the DEA has issued a “counterfeit pills fact sheet” attempting to warn the community regarding the dangers of using/abusing these counterfeit drugs.
Martinez was ordered held following a detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr.
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Timothy Jackson, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff James Quattrone, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Field Division.