Cracks in a 67-year-old military vet’s back led to a wanted heroin trafficker, cops say

Christian Martinez’s current Volusia County mugshot. He has 17 previous ones.
Christian Martinez’s current Volusia County mugshot. He has 17 previous ones. Volusia County Corrections

A senior citizen military veteran’s bravery trumped a suspected heroin trafficker’s relative youth and savagery, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

As the sheriff’s office describes it, that’s how 31-year-old Christian Martinez wound up taking his 17th arrest in Volusia County since 2010.

Martinez is charged with selling heroin; trafficking in 4 grams to 14 grams of heroin; witness tampering; aggravated assault with a deadly firearm; aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; grand theft with a firearm; possession of firearm by a convicted felon; misdemeanor marijuana possession; and drug paraphernalia possession.

He’s got a $15,000 bond on the first charge, no bond granted on others.

The Volusia Sheriff’s Office said it had been looking for Martinez to satisfy a warrant for selling and moving heroin. Tuesday night, the Deltona resident went to another Deltona home where a 42-year-old woman lived with a 67-year-old man. The man told VCSO as Martinez and the woman continued an increasingly heated argument, he tried to act as a calming influence.

Martinez apparently wasn’t calmed.

“Martinez picked up a large piece of bamboo and started to beat the victim, who was knocked unconscious,” according to the sheriff’s office. “When the victim regained consciousness, he said Martinez was standing over him holding a black semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine. The victim said Martinez told him he’d kill him if he reported the incident to law enforcement.”

The man was in enough pain to be taken into AdventHealth Fish Memorial Hospital and be admitted with fractures in his neck and back. But he told all of the above to VCSO deputies Wednesday.

VCSO’s Deltona Narcotics Enforcement Team visited Martinez at his home Wednesday night, bringing handcuffs. They say they left with 11 grams of heroin (street value, $550 to $1,100 according to drugrehab.com), some marijuana, drug paraphernalia, a scale, a ledger, a .40-caliber Glock reported stolen from Pennsylvania and a high capacity .40 caliber magazine.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.