Two Consecutive Life Sentences Upheld Against Former Sheriff

Two Consecutive Life Sentences Upheld Against Former Sheriff

In September 2010, following an eight-day jury trial, former Gallatin County Sheriff Raymond Martin was convicted of 15 criminal counts concerning the distribution of marijuana, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and attempting to have two witnesses killed.  In January 2011, he was sentenced to two life sentences plus 10 years to be served consecutively in federal prison.

Mr. Martin appealed the sentences to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the sentence was unreasonable.  In August 2012, the court affirmed the convictions but vacated the sentences due to a sentencing guidelines calculation error.  The case was remanded back to the district court for resentencing.

While awaiting resentencing, Mr. Martin allegedly was caught in possession of, and attempting to smuggle, prescription medications into the Williamson County Jail, where he was being held pending his resentencing.  Evidently, his crime spree was not yet complete.

With the new information at hand concerning the attempted smuggling and possession of prescription medications, a new sentence was imposed in conjunction with the remand from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  Mr. Martin was again sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment plus an additional consecutive term of 10 years in prison.  He was further ordered to forfeit $76,090 and his residence.

What makes the story of former Sheriff Mr. Martin even more colorful — outside of the allegations of prescription medication smuggling and the several life terms of federal incarceration — is that Mr. Martin actually had the gall to refuse to resign his position as sheriff even after he was jailed on the federal distribution case.  It was only after his conviction that the Gallatin County Board was able to remove him from office.

Even though Mr. Martin’s antics are somewhat colorful — especially in the light of him being the former head of a law enforcement division — this is yet another instance of misconduct by those in office.  It’s not a far stretch of the imagination to assume that Mr. Martin has not only professed to be an honest and upstanding member of his prior community but that his word as a law enforcement officer has most certainly been taken to carry great weight in criminal prosecutions either investigated by himself or brought by his office.  And this opens the door to questions of integrity concerning his office and its investigations.  While an external audit certainly won’t take place (after all, who in power would call for it?), hopefully, an internal one will, and hopefully, that audit will ensure that Mr. Martin did not engage in unprofessional conduct when sending others away to prison for many years on end.  Those subjected to a system of justice can at least hope as much.

Mr. Martin currently resides at USP Tucson, a maximum-security federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, a prison reserved for the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ most heinous sex offenders and protection cases.

For more information about the case of former Gallatin County Sheriff Raymond Martin, see