Ex-NY cop gets life sentence for executing 4 men

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TL/DR –

Former New York cop Nicholas Tartaglione, who turned drug dealer, has been sentenced to four consecutive life sentences for the execution of four men in 2016. Tartaglione was convicted on 11 counts of murder, four counts of kidnapping resulting in death, kidnapping conspiracy, and narcotics conspiracy after luring a man he suspected of stealing from him into a trap and then executing him and three others who were with him. The victims were strangled or shot at a wooded location, with their bodies later found buried on Tartaglione’s property in upstate New York.


Nicholas Tartaglione, Ex-New York Cop Turned Drug Dealer, Receives Four Consecutive Life Sentences

An ex-suburban New York cop, Nicholas Tartaglione, now a convicted drug dealer who organized the gangland-style execution of four men in 2016, received four consecutive life sentences on Monday, federal prosecutors reported.

Tartaglione lured a man he suspected of theft into a trap in 2016, leading to the execution of the man and three others present, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

“Nicholas Tartaglione brutally murdered Martin Luna over money, and also executed Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna, and Hector Gutierrez. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated.

Nicholas Tartaglione

In April 2023, Tartaglione, 56, was found guilty on several counts, including 11 counts of murder, four counts of kidnapping resulting in death, and one count of narcotics conspiracy.

A former police officer in the village of Briarcliff Manor, Tartaglione tortured Martin Luna, suspecting him of stealing $250,000, before strangling him with a zip tie, as reported by prosecutors.

The other three men, Luna’s nephews Urbano Santiago and Miguel Luna, along with family friend Hector Gutierrez, were forced to kneel in a wooded area and were shot, says Williams. They were killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

After the murders, the bodies were buried on Tartaglione’s upstate New York property. They were later discovered by an FBI task force in December 2021.

Tartaglione’s sentencing comprised of four consecutive life sentences. His defense team did not immediately respond for comment.

Earlier in the year, Tartaglione asked for a new trial through his attorney, arguing poor legal counsel and failure to challenge key evidence. However, the judge denied this motion.

Prosecutors disclosed that Tartaglione, a former bodybuilder and police officer, sold steroids in the Hudson Valley area. These were sold to two men, Joseph Biggs and Gerard Benderoth, who aided in the executions.

Prosecutors revealed that each of the three men, Biggs, Tartaglione and Benderoth, shot one of the victims they had forced to kneel. “The terror the last victim to die must have felt borders on the incomprehensible,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing letter.

The FBI task force discovered the bodies after the victims’ family reported their disappearance to the police.

Since then, Benderoth died, Biggs pleaded guilty and received over 16 years prison time in April. Two other accomplices, Jason Sullivan and Marcos Cruz, also pleaded guilty. Sullivan received a 10-year sentence last week, while Cruz was sentenced to time already served.

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