Police Officer With Bit Part in Epstein Jail Drama Convicted of Murder

Nearly seven years to the day that four men were lured to a bar in Chester, N.Y., and killed “gangland style,” a retired police officer turned drug dealer was found guilty in their murders.

Nicholas Tartaglione, the former officer, was convicted on all counts in federal court in White Plains, N.Y. He faces life in prison.

Prosecutors said Nicholas Tartaglione lured the victims to a bar planning to collect on a debt.Credit…Journal News — USA TODAY Network

Prosecutors said that Mr. Tartaglione, an avid bodybuilder who had retired from the Briarcliff Manor Police Department in 2008, had been running a drug ring. In 2015, he suspected that a man named Martin Luna had stolen money from him.

The following year, Mr. Tartaglione planned to confront Mr. Luna at a bar. At the meeting, Mr. Luna brought with him his nephews Miguel Luna and Urbano Santiago and a family friend, Hector Gutierrez.

“What occurred next could only be described as pure terror,” Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement on Thursday.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Tartaglione tortured Mr. Luna and forced one of his nephews to watch as he strangled him with a zip tie. He and two associates then took the other men and shot them in the woods.

“Mr. Tartaglione’s heinous acts represent a broader betrayal, as he was a former police officer who once swore to protect the very community he devastated,” Mr. Williams said.

Mr. Tartaglione shared a cell for a time with Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier jailed on sex trafficking charges. Mr. Tartaglione alerted guards to a suspected suicide attempt by Mr. Epstein the month before he killed himself in 2019, his lawyer said at the time.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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