DENVER – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces James Ernesto Martinez, age 33, of Denver, has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
According to the plea agreement, on July 22, 2021, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at the defendant’s Denver home. That search warrant authorized the seizure of, among other things, firearms. After agents knocked and announced their presence, Martinez went back inside for approximately ten minutes. During that time, agents could see Martinez moving quickly through the home. When Martinez finally surrendered, he was the only adult in the home. On the floor of Martinez’s bedroom, agents observed a trail of pills that led from the dresser to the bathroom. In the bathroom, around the toilet, agents located crushed pills they believed to be a controlled substance, as well as ripped up plastic baggies. Based on what agents initially saw, they obtained a second search warrant for drugs and drug paraphernalia. They located 11 fentanyl pills, .981 grams of methamphetamine, plastic baggies, and two digital scales. In a shoe box concealed in the attic that could only be accessed from the defendant’s bedroom, agents located two 9mm handguns and a .22 caliber handgun. Martinez had previously been convicted of a felony and knew he was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
Judge William J. Martinez sentenced the defendant on November 23, 2022.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution was handled by the Violent Crime and Immigration Enforcement Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
CASE NUMBER: 21-cr-00263