Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer at several municipalities in the Hudson Valley, may have been moving a fourth victim to his home when three men were fatally shot in an Orange County bar last year, according to a lohud.com report citing U.S. Attorney Maurene Comey.
Chester police said that four bodies were located at Tartaglione’s home in Otisville, a village in Orange County, late last year, after the 49-year-old was charged for his participation in a drug conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and the murder of four men to further his business efforts.
According to the indictment that was filed in White Plains Federal Court last year, Tartaglione killed Martin Luna, 41, Urbano Santiago, 32, Miguel Luna, 25, and Hector Gutierrez, 43, at the Likquid Lounge - a bar that his brother managed for a time in the town of Chester, when a cocaine deal went badly involving at least one of the victims.
Tartaglione had worked as a police officer in Briarcliff, Pawling, Mount Vernon and Yonkers prior to Briarcliff Manor.
Comey suspects that the elder Luna had stolen money that was intended to purchase cocaine, according to a lohud report.
The report states that after Martin Luna hid from his alleged killers until he was coerced into going to the bar. He was killed that day, and the report says Tartaglione took his body to his Otisville property. The other three were reportedly shot in the head while Tartaglione was allegedly transporting Luna’s body. The other three were later reportedly brought to the property and buried in a mass grave.
Biggs allegedly helped Tartaglione get the men to the bar where they were killed. A third suspect, Hudson Valley Strongman Gerard Benderoth, may have also been connected to the quadruple homicide. Benderoth committed suicide in Rockland earlier this year, shooting himself in the head when approached by law enforcement officials with local police and the F.B.I.
Tartaglione and Biggs each face life in prison or the death penalty for a series of charges that include conspiracy to distribute cocaine, murder, use of a firearm in furthering a drug trafficking crime, kidnapping and interstate travel with the intent to commit a crime of violence. Both men are due in court later this year.
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