Previously deported man allegedly found selling drugs in Frankfort

Man, woman held in Franklin County Regional Jail

By Kristina Belcher, Published:

Sheriff’s officials said a man arrested for his alleged marijuana trafficking in Frankfort isn’t legally allowed to be in the United States.

Rafael Martinez, 22, and Serah Villegas, 21, are being held in the Franklin County Regional Jail on a $10,000 full cash bond. Both are charged with trafficking more than 5 pounds of marijuana.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office centered a drug investigation around 8000 John Davis Drive, Apt. 307, after officials received a tip about possible trafficking inside that apartment.

“The tip said there was a hub operating out of that residence,” Sheriff Pat Melton said.

After further investigation, Melton said they identified Martinez — with former addresses in Yakima, Wash., and Michoacan, Mexico.

Martinez was convicted in 2009, Melton said, after he was found in California with more than 100 pounds of marijuana, an AK-47 and a handgun. After serving time in prison, he was deported.

“Obviously officer safety was a concern,” Melton said of Martinez’ arrest. “… So we used extreme caution.”

Martinez was taken into custody without incident Monday as he was walking out of the apartment. Melton said he was trying to load a plastic tote container into a rental vehicle.

Inside the tote, deputies allegedly found more than 8 pounds of marijuana — with a street value around $16,000.

They also said they found more than $7,000 in cash, mostly on Martinez himself.

Inside the apartment, Melton said deputies found a shrine to Jesus Malverde, the unofficial saint of drug traffickers in Mexican folklore. This is common to see among Latino drug dealers, Melton said.

“That’s who’s supposed to protect them and bring them wealth,” Melton said. “… It’s just another step in the investigation that confirms what he was doing.”

Villegas was also inside the apartment, but Melton declined to comment on her involvement in the drug trafficking.

Melton said his office is currently working with  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As a deported felon, Martinez could face parole violation charges in California, plus new charges for entering the country illegally after his deportation.

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  • gayle-woods, you think too much!

    Matt Brown had the full support and confidence of the Sheriff in all of his actions.  This hands-on Sheriff knew that Brown was stealing from those whom he was conducting search warrants upon, and specifically the guy that he stole the ring from and tried to sell it back to, which is in the FBI's indictment.  There is no reason why the FBI cannot indict the Sheriff too, and it may still. Matt Brown may roll over on the Sheriff to save his own skin...something that he should be good at. 

  • "Inside the tote, deputies allegedly found more than 8 pounds of marijuana — with a street value around $16,000."

    *** Matt Brown back at work? In the picture I only see seven bags, most appear to be one pound bags and one appears to be a half pound bag for a total of six and a half pounds. Where is the missing one and a half pound?

  • Kristina is little more than a cheerleader for Melton...where is her (or her Editor's) journalistic integrity?  Have they no shame?

  • Have you ever in your life seen so many "someone saids" in one article? Where did this person take her creative writng classes at? I think a better article would have just listed all that was said in one paragraph quoted.

    It's like she has to quote every single freaken sentence Melton said....Makes your head swim just reading it not to mention confusing too.

  • iluvsunshine, April 10, 2014 8:45AM

    "This story just doesn't make sense to me."

    Welcome to the wonderful wacky world of Kristina Belcher, self-proclaimed "crime beat reporter", where no story is too big to merely copy it off of the police blotter.  Few of her stories make much sense to me either!

    iluvsunshine, "He's an awful dangerous sounding criminal to be that young. Sounds like he may have been in training as a small child or there is an even more dangerous network he's affiliated with. Hum.... to be continued? Probably somewhere, hopefully not here."

     

    What ever would make you think that Martinez is a "dangerous sounding criminal"?  What does that "sound" like exactly?  You have developed this whole fanciful scenario about his childhood and "dangerous network" that "he's affliated with."  Where did that come from?

    Racial profile much? Of course, that is exactly what Sheriff Melton wants everybody to think...danger, danger, be afraid, be berry berry afraid, so we will think that we need Sheriff Melton to protect us from these small brown people who are trained by mysterious and clandestine "dangerous networks".  But let's get real here, this guy fell into the good Sheriff's lap and apparently was no danger to anyone, not even you, iluvsunshine.  It doesn't take much training to sell pot, or even a good salesman...it practically jumps off of the shelves by itself in Colorado! 

  • This story just doesn't make sense to me. He is a 22 year old kid who has already served prison time, been deported and re-entered the US. To read this story (without the age info) you would think of a much older person. He's an awful dangerous sounding criminal to be that young. Sounds like he may have been in training as a small child or there is an even more dangerous network he's affiliated with. Hum.... to be continued? Probably somewhere, hopefully not here.

  • This story just doesn't make sense to me. He is a 22 year old kid who has already served prison time, been deported and re-entered the US. To read this story (without the age info) you would think of a much older person. He's an awful dangerous sounding criminal to be that young. Sounds like he may have been in training as a small child or there is an even more dangerous network he's affiliated with. Hum.... to be continued? Probably somewhere, hopefully not here.

  • A 'religious capitalist'...

     

    Republicans must love this guy!


  • So, as we write the feds are llegally prepping to prosecute and incarcerate Marinez for decades in the pen for distributing marijuana through his small home business...small business is the very backbone of our economy.  What if marijuana does indeed cure cancer as research indicates?  What kind of society does this to its citizens?  What kind of people are we to stand by and allow it.  You don't have to go along with this witch hunt, ya' know.

    Jury nullification occurs in a trial when a jury acquits a defendant they believe to be guilty of the charges against them. This may occur when members of the jury disagree with the law the defendant has been charged with breaking, or believe that the law should not be applied in that particular case.

    Jury nullification is a de facto power of juries. Judges rarely inform juries of their nullification power. The power of jury nullification derives from an inherent quality of most modern common law systems—a general unwillingness to inquire into jurors' motivations during or after deliberations. A jury's ability to nullify the law is further supported by two common law precedents: the prohibition on punishing jury members for their verdict, and the prohibition on retrying defendants after an acquittal (see related topics res judicata and double jeopardy).
    Jury nullification is an important safeguard of last resort against wrongful imprisonment and government tyranny.  

    The War on Some Drugs That Aren't Alcohol and Tobacco is a classic example of wrongful imprisonment and government tyranny! 

    Rise up!!!
     

  • ihate, try to keep up there sparky!  24 + 1= 25!  The only thing holding back legalization in many states is that the citizens cannot put a referendum on the ballot, like here in the Commonwealth of KY.  The citizens are waaaaay further along than the legislatures on this issue, especially in the red (neck) states.  This in not something that we should be spending our scarce tax dollars on pursing and incarcerating folks about...it is insane to continue to so.  But our Sheriff has a real obsession about it...almost equalling his McDonald's addiction.  Almost...

    Why, just 2 days ago as reported in the Washington Post:

    "Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said Monday that he will sign a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. 

    At least 24 other states now have either decriminalized the use of marijuana, approved it for medicinal purposes or legalized it outright, according to a study by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

    “As a young prosecutor, I once thought that decriminalizing the possession of marijuana might undermine the public will necessary to combat drug violence and improve public safety,” O’Malley said in a statement. “I now think that [it] is an acknowledgment of the low priority that our courts, our prosecutors, our police and the vast majority of citizens already attach to this transgression of public order and public health.”

    Maryland would join (24) several states and jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, that have moved in recent years to legalize or decriminalize the drug."

     

    This is better, but still not good enough. What is warranted is the full decriminalization like in Colorado and Washington state, and regulate and tax the legal sale of pot. Escalating fines for possession of small amounts is still ridiculous. Might as well cite and fine somebody for carrying a 6 pack of Budweiser -- that's a lot more dangerous...

  • An illegal doing something illegal, noway.....The majority of America 32 states evidently doesn't believe so to the minority 18 that do so.

  • Also, you can bet that the Sheriff and Prosecutor are leaning heavily upon Martinez to turn on his associates as a snitch where he could end up dead.  This Sheriff has a history of not protecting his confidential informants and treating them as disposables...don't take my word for it, just ask Charles Monroe.  Oh snap, you can't do that as he is still dead.

  • The majority of Kentuckians and Americans want their legislators to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.  The majority of Kentuckians, including some members of the Sheriff's Office, have stated that they also see nothing wrong with folks who want to use marijuana in the privacy of their own homes.  Several folks on this site have stated that they see nothing wrong with the private use of marijuana by adults, but that they are steadfastly against "drug dealers".

    Well then, how the heck are folks supposed to get the marijuana that they use if it isn't from the black market and guys like Martinez?  Wait for the Pot Fairy to put some under their pillow at night?  Or maybe old Saint Nick will bring them some at Christmas...if they are really good.  The fact is that if it weren't for people like Martinez here, folks would not be able to buy any pot for their personal consumption.  Also, people who have serious diseases like cancer and who need marijuana to LIVE would be SOL in this state.

    Maybe those folks who say that they are against drug dealers like Martinez should rethink this whole thing through.

    Also, is it unreasonable for Martinez to have had weapons to defend himself from banditios if he was in California with more than 100 pounds of marijuana, an AK-47 and a handgun? People have been killed for a LOT LESS!  Prohibition creates the criminal element and some of these are ruthless killers.  If YOU were running around with that much pot in California wouldn't you be armed to the teeth too?  Those weapons were apparently NOT meant for the police.  Martinez was not found with ANY weapons here in KY.  

    Some days it is hard to tell who are the good guys and who are the bad guys without a program...and this newspaper sure isn't a reliable unbiased source of info.

  • Its a shame that this religious capitalist, who obviously loves this country, is denied an opportunity to earn a living.

    Drug laws subsidize drug dealers.

  • Oh that's grand.. Violate his proale for being deported....smdh