Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I bet he's sorry now

Falling like ten pins.

Want to bet more of these will happen?

I didn't think so.

Bar owner to take deal in gambling case
Guillermo Contreras - Express-News

A local bar owner is scheduled to plead guilty Thursday in federal court to conspiring to launder between $120,000 and $200,000 obtained from gambling and drug trafficking.
David “Marty” Martinez Jr., 45, signed a plea deal this week that drops charges of participating in drug trafficking in exchange for the less serious money-laundering count.

In signing the deal, Martinez admitted that from September 2005 through March, he “was routinely engaged in gambling activities” with David Valdez — a man who admitted last week that he headed a cocaine-trafficking ring in San Antonio — and others.
Martinez, who ran Castillo's Ice House in Von Ormy, would place bets in Nevada from the bar in south Bexar County on various sports.

The plea deal said Martinez knew the money he got from Valdez was from “illegal gambling activities and/or illegal drug trafficking activities.”

A search warrant affidavit alleges Martinez laundered gambling money through his bar and a separate floor-cleaning business.

Martinez was nabbed in March in a drug investigation that targeted a drug-trafficking cell led by Valdez, who pleaded guilty along with others in his ring in late September.

Besides Martinez's links to the ring, federal authorities are also scrutinizing Martinez's connections to police officers who frequented his bar, or whom he had befriended, to determine whether they knew about the illegal activities at the bar and looked the other way, sources said.

Among them is former Assistant Chief Rudy Gonzales, who held the San Antonio Police Department's second-highest rank until two internal investigations and a demotion knocked him from the force's graces. Gonzales could not be reached for comment.

In March, Police Chief William McManus placed Gonzales on paid leave and reopened a 2002 internal probe that looked into claims that Gonzales paid a prostitute to have sex. The woman alleged Martinez also paid her to have sex with Gonzales and for a separate sexual interlude with a retired Bexar County sheriff's deputy and another San Antonio police officer.

Gonzales, in an internal police interview, acknowledged having sex with the woman, but said he did not know she worked for an escort service and denied paying her. The internal investigation could not substantiate any of the woman's claims at the time.

Earlier this year, a new confidential witness told officials the allegations were deemed unfounded at the time because other officers lied and impeded the investigation. The witness also told officials Gonzales was associated with Martinez. The witness did not connect Gonzales to any drug activity.

In April, McManus ordered a second internal inquiry after allegations surfaced that Gonzales used his rank to access empty seats in a reserved section of a sold-out Final Four basketball game. On April 18, McManus demoted Gonzales, who retired Aug. 1.