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Santa Cruz man sentenced to more than 11 years for drug trafficking

SAN JOSE, Calif. – A Santa Cruz man was sentenced in federal court Monday to 140 months in prison for trafficking in methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Santa Cruz City Police Department.

Rudy Martinez, 40, fell under suspicion following his involvement in a violent street altercation in the Beach Flats neighborhood of Santa Cruz in July of last year. When investigators searched his residence in July 2012, they discovered methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine, along with an assortment of scales and packaging materials. Authorities also recovered more than $12,000 in proceeds from the criminal activity.

Martinez was indicted in October 2012 for possessing significant quantities of the three drugs with the intent to distribute. Since the drugs were located at his home directly facing a city park, he was also charged with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a playground. Martinez pleaded guilty in August.

Martinez admitted at sentencing that he was acting as a "middleman" for others, actively distributing the drugs in Santa Cruz and beyond. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila sentenced the defendant to a five-year period of supervised release and ordered him to forfeit the money seized from his residence to the United States.

Martinez, who has been in custody since his guilty plea in August, immediately began serving his sentence.