FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
FORMER SALVADORAN CONGRESSMAN CONVICTED OF CONSPIRACY TO
IMPORT AND DISTRIBUTE COCAINE INTO THE UNITED STATES
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Attorney General John C. Richter of
Criminal Division announced today that a federal jury in Washington,
D.C., has convicted former
Salvadoran congressman William Eliu-Martinez
on charges of conspiracy to import and
distribute cocaine into the United States.
The jury deliberated less than eight hours over two days before
returning the guilty
verdicts Monday afternoon. The case was prosecuted by Department of
Justice Narcotic and
Dangerous Drug Section Trial Attorneys Michael Mota, Patrick Hern and
James Faulkner, during
a two-and-a-half week trial before Judge Michael M. Mihm, visiting judge
from the Central
District of Illinois.
The two-count indictment charging Martinez was returned in October 2003,
was arrested by DEA agents in Panama the following month.
“Martinez, a significant Central American cocaine trafficker, now knows
that he could
not evade the long arm of international justice,” said Acting Assistant
Attorney General Richter.
“These verdicts send a strong message that large-scale cocaine
traffickers who send narcotics to
the United States can be effectively prosecuted, no matter where they
Martinez’s co-defendant, Otto Herrera Garcia, is currently a fugitive
efforts to locate and prosecute him continue.
The DEA investigation of Martinez’s drug trafficking activities was
conducted in close
cooperation with several Central American law enforcement agencies.
prosecutors enjoyed particularly strong support from the government of
Martinez is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 12, 2005. He faces up to
life in prison.