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A former NY Cop And ex-Epstein Cellmate Faces A Quadruple Murder Trial

A former NY cop and ex-Epstein cellmate faces a quadruple murder trial(Photo: Fox News)

Nicholas Tartaglione is accused of killing four men over a drug debt.

The trial of an ex-cop who shared a cell with Jeffrey Epstein begins this week. Four bodies were discovered buried in the backyard of his New York home in 2016.

Nicholas Tartaglione, 55, was allegedly selling cocaine, steroids, and other drugs after leaving law enforcement in 2008 when he accused one of his associates, Martin Luna, of stealing more than $200,000 from him, according to federal prosecutors.

On April 11, 2016, Tartaglione allegedly lured Luna to a bar in Orange County, New York, where Luna was joined by his nephew, Miguel Luna; his niece’s fiancé, Urbano Santiago; and a family friend, Hector Gutierrez.

All four men went missing after that, according to prosecutors, who said after Tartaglione’s arrest in December 2016 that they were “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The alleged murders were described as a “gangland-style” execution by then-Federal Prosecutor Preet Bharara.

According to family and prosecutors, Miguel Luna, Santiago, and Gutierrez were not involved in the alleged drug-running operation.

Criminal defense attorney Phil Hamilton weighs in on the circumstances surrounding accused sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein’s death. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tartaglione allegedly bound and dragged Martin Luna to the property, about 20 miles from the bar, where he was allegedly murdered.

According to court documents and previous statements by federal prosecutors, alleged co-conspirators assisted Tartaglione in forcing the three other men to the property, where they were fatally shot and buried with Martin Luna.

Tartaglione faces life in prison if convicted, despite the fact that prosecutors initially planned to seek the death penalty against him.

Attorney General Merrick Garland overturned that decision last year.

Tartaglione’s case went from an alleged, grisly drug-related quadruple homicide in lower New York state to national news when he became cellmates with Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

On July 23, 2019, Epstein was discovered in his prison cell semi-conscious and balled up in the fetal position, with marks on his neck, and Tartaglione was accused of “roughing him up.”

He was interrogated, but the former cop and his lawyer fought the allegations, and no charges were filed.

A shadow of suspicion hangs over the incident because video surveillance footage was “inadvertently” deleted by prison staff, and Tartaglione was found with a cellphone.

Epstein died of an apparent suicide the following month, on August 10, 2019, but Tartaglione was not in the cell at the time.

According to court documents, after Epstein’s death, the former police officer requested a transfer to a different prison, claiming he was being harassed by prison guards.

According to court documents, Tartaglione was also accused of being assaulted by correction officers.

“The clear message Mr. Tartaglione has received is that there will be a price to pay if he conveys information about the facility or the recent suicide,” his attorney, Bruce Barket, wrote in a letter to the judge.

“The continuing and seemingly unresolvable problems with Mr. Tartaglione’s confinement conditions, combined with the unfortunate attempted suicide by a cellmate, to which Mr. Tartaglione is a critical witness, and the successful suicide of that same person, make his continued detention at the MCC inappropriate.”

This week, jury selection in the quadruple murder case began in federal court in Westchester County, New York, just outside of New York City.

Tartaglione has entered a not guilty plea to all charges.

Read also: Philadelphia Man Was Brutally Shot By 70 Bullets Outside His Home

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