Martin Luna found himself in an Orange County bar, a place he would never have visited if it weren’t for his boss, contractor Jason Sullivan. Unfortunately, this decision would ultimately lead to his untimely demise seven years ago.
Sullivan’s assistance played a crucial role in helping prosecutors solve the murders of Luna and the three men he was accompanied by. Without Sullivan’s aid, it is possible that the case would have remained unsolved.
One of the key cooperating witnesses, alongside two others, played a crucial role in securing the conviction of former police officer Nicholas Tartaglione for the quadruple homicide.
Additionally, a co-conspirator in the Tartaglione murder case has been sentenced to time served after assisting investigators.
Sullivan received a 10-year prison sentence last week for his involvement in the drug conspiracy that resulted in the killings. He was also found guilty of arranging Luna’s visit to the Likquid Lounge in Chester on April 11, 2016. Sullivan deceived Luna by claiming that there was an estimate he needed to provide for a construction job.
Sullivan relocated from Orange County to Florida, entrusting Luna with the responsibility of managing his construction business. He actively contributed to the drug conspiracy by granting Luna permission to store cocaine in his residence, which was subsequently sold in Florida.
In late 2015, Luna went back to Texas after selling the initial five kilograms, intending to purchase more drugs. However, he encountered a setback when his suppliers refused to hand over the additional drugs, resulting in Luna being defrauded of over $200,000.
Tartaglione had provided the majority of the funds for the drug trafficking operation and by springtime, he was convinced that Luna had actually stolen the money.
Sullivan played a key role in the plan to apprehend Luna when Tartaglione and his associates, Joseph Biggs and Gerard Benderoth, were unable to locate him. They devised a strategy to entice Luna to the bar, which happened to be managed by Tartaglione’s brother. During the trial, Sullivan admitted that he knew Luna’s life was in jeopardy unless he repaid the money.
According to Jason Ser, one of Sullivan’s lawyers, Sullivan admitted his guilt in the drug and kidnapping conspiracy charges but not in the actual killings. Ser argued that Sullivan was not as responsible as Tartaglione and Biggs since he was not present at the bar or the farm when the murders took place. Ser also mentioned that the prosecutors acknowledged that the investigation had reached a standstill until they confronted Sullivan in Florida in the summer of 2016, and he started cooperating.
Sullivan’s lawyers requested a sentence of 8 ½ years, while the recommended sentence was 30 years to life. In a surprising move, the prosecutors actually asked for leniency, acknowledging Sullivan’s “extraordinary” assistance. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas will ultimately decide the length of Sullivan’s sentence.
Biggs is currently awaiting sentencing, while Tartaglione is set to be sentenced in February. However, his new lawyers have filed a motion to have his conviction overturned.
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