How many life sentences can Raymond Martin serve? U.S. attorney Cutchin has an opinion on that
U.S. DISTRICT COURT, BENTON—About a week before sentencing occurs, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois handling Raymond Martin’s case has cut the former sheriff no slack—he’s asking for several life sentences on counts 7 through 14 of Martin’s September convictions.
Yesterday (01.13.11), U.S. attorney James M. Cutchin, who handled Martin’s prosecution, submitted a 17-page request of Judge J. Philip Gilbert noting what he would like to see as a sentence for the 20-year sheriff of Gallatin County (who was removed by county board action Sept. 27 following his felony convictions on all 15 counts.)
Giving insight into the sealed presentencing investigation/report (referred to here as PSR) Martin has been undergoing since early October 2010, Cutchin cited several reasons for the intense sentencing he was requesting (60 months each on counts 1, 2, 3, 6 and 15, and life on each count of 4, 5, and 7 through 14).
Counts 1-3 involve Distribution of Marijuana and count 6 is Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana, which Cutchin described as particularly egregious because “defendant sought to personally profit from his involvement in some of these investigations by subsequently stealing the evidence obtained from them and then distributing it to others to sell serves to underscore the seriousness and unconscionableness of these offenses. Over the last several years, this Court has unfortunately had the opportunity to become very familiar with the drug problem plaguing Gallatin and surrounding counties and the epidemic levels it reached. While the majority of those cases involved methamphetamine, as the evidence presented at trial demonstrated (and this Court’s own experience confirms), marijuana usage and distribution in Gallatin County went hand in hand with methamphetamine manufacturing and abuse. Defendant’s decision to use his position as Sheriff to exacerbate and profit from the drug problem in Gallatin County rather than trying to become part of the solution makes his crimes even more serious and him more culpable and deserving of markedly harsher punishment than those from that area that this Court has previously sentenced.”
Further, “as the PSR demonstrates the evidence adduced at trial (and the relevant conduct amounts drawn therefrom upon which the Sentencing Guideline calculations are based) does not fully and adequately reflect defendant’s long involvement in the distribution of marijuana in and around Gallatin County. The investigation in this case revealed that defendant became involved with others in the distribution of marijuana as early as 1998,” Cutchin reported.
More information referred to by the sentence request indicates that there was a person Martin had “contracted” with to grow marijuana for him at an agreed-to amount of $5,000 per growing season, this beginning in 1991-92.
There’s no indication in the paperwork on file of who this person might have been.
Count 15, Attempted Structuring of Financial Transactions, was lumped into the 60-month-each sentence request, meaning you should never try to withdraw large sums of money from your bank in amounts less than $10,000 in order to avoid having to report it.
Counts 7-14 involve Witness Tampering, wherein Martin was guilty of attempting to hire people to kill key witnesses in his federal case.
About this, Cutchin wrote: “As the evidence adduced at trial overwhelmingly demonstrated, defendant instead chose to exponentially escalate the seriousness of his criminal conduct by attempting to have Jeremy Potts and David Woods, the two main witnesses against him in the drug case, killed by attempting to hire two separate hitmen, offering them thousands of dollars to carry out the murders, and drawing them highly detailed and accurate maps to the witness’ residences in rural Gallatin County. Not content with destroying his own life, defendant selfishly chose to involve his wife and, even more unimaginable, his 20 year old son in his murderous plot. Had it not been for the courage of Thomas Hayden in coming forward and informing Jackson County law enforcement officials of defendant’s actions, he very well could have succeeded in his repeated and determined efforts to have those witnesses killed. The seriousness of this conduct, both in terms of its intended violence to the victims and its assault on the truth seeking function of the federal criminal justice system, also cannot be understated.”
Cutchin continued, “Moreover, the details and collateral consequences of defendant’s criminal conduct in this regard further demonstrates the egregiousness of his actions. First, as the Court will recall and as is alluded to above, defendant used his impressionable 20 year old son to deliver $1000 to Kevin Brown, one of the intended hitmen, as a down payment for having Jeremy Potts killed. Trans. Vol. 5, pp. 816-827, 897-925. Adding to the outrageousness of this conduct is the fact that defendant instructed his wife and son to obtain the funds for this $1000 payment by cashing one of defendant’s Gallatin County paychecks which he was still receiving because he stubbornly refused to resign his position as Sheriff even though he was incarcerated in the Jackson County Jail and under indictment for multiple felony offenses,” thus proving that it wasn’t just the general populace of Gallatin County who believed Martin was being belligerent over his position and pay, and wanting to hang on to it as long as he could suck off the taxpayer.
“It was not enough that defendant ruined his son’s young life by involving him in an exceedingly serious crime that could land him in prison for several years. His refusal – unlike Cody – to accept his own responsibility put his son in a position where he had no choice but to testify against his father and go through life saddled with the burden of knowing that he helped put his own father in federal prison,” Cutchin said with some poignancy in his report.
Cutchin continued to use more arguments like these in asking for life sentences on all eight Witness Tampering-related counts….some of it every bit at startling as what’s been outlined here. We do plan on bringing the full text of his arguments to you in the February 9 print version….along with those who will be on the stand in the sentencing hearing this coming Wednesday, Jan. 19.
And of course, we’ll also be bringing you the breaking news of the sentence Raymondo receives this Wednesday, right here on the website….mark your RSS feeds, bookmark the site, and check back frequently, because you won’t want to miss it.
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