Small Town Illinois Sheriff Charged With Pot Dealing And Murder-For-Hire

January 5, 2010 4:48 a.m.

Raymond Martin had been sheriff in tiny Gallatin County, Illinois, for 20 years. So when he was arrested on federal drug and gun charges last May for allegedly running a large-scale marijuana dealing operation out of his police SUV, residents were shocked.

But that was only the beginning.

On Saturday, when Martin’s wife Kristina and 20-year-old son Cody came to visit him at the jail, they were both promptly arrested. All three were charged Monday on state murder-for-hire charges.

According to the complaint, the trio arranged to have two men — identified as Kevin B. and Thomas H. — carry out first degree murder. The charging documents don’t detail the alleged plot. But citing a source close to the investigation, ABC affiliate WSIL reported that the subjects of the alleged murder plot were two witnesses in Raymond’s upcoming drug trial.

The three are scheduled to appear in Jackson County Circuit Court today.

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It’s not clear whether one of the targets of the alleged murder plot is the confidential DEA source who appears to be the main informant on the drug charges. According to the federal complaint, Martin warned the source that he would prosecute the source on any charge Martin wanted to “make up.”

He allegedly gave the confidential source as much as 20 pounds of pot on a biweekly basis, according to the criminal complaint. The source would then allegedly sell the drugs and split the profits with Martin.

The complaint alleges Martin used his sheriff’s department cell phone and his patrol vehicle, a Ford Expedition, during drug deals, all while in uniform and on the job.

So where was Martin getting the pot? He allegedly had at least two sources, as the complaint describes:

“On at least two other occasions when the C/S [confidential source] called Martin to tell him that he was ready for a delivery of marijuana, Martin told the C/S that Martin would have to go by the Courthouse and ‘pick it up’ and would meet the C/S at the usual location in ten or fifteen minutes. Martin also told the C/S on more than one occasion that if the C/S could locate any outdoor marijuana grow operations in Gallitin County that Martin would arrest the individuals and confiscate the marijuana. After the case was completed in court, Martin would then bring the confiscated marijuana to the C/S to sell instead of destroying it. Martin and the C/S would split the profits evenly on the sale of this marijuana as Martin would have ‘nothing’ in the marijuana.”

The alleged drug dealing was a lucrative enterprise for Martin. Investigators reportedly found a safe at his house with $100,000. They allege that Martin didn’t have a mortgage on the $300,000 home, even though he and his wife brought in just over $50,000 a year in legal income.

You can read the drug complaint here and the murder-for-hire charges here.

Late Update:: Martin allegedly said of a pot-dealing competitor: I’ll “put the fear of God in him.”

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