Former drug lord Alberto “Alpo” Martinez, who testified against underlings in his gang, was gunned down Sunday (Oct. 31) in a Harlem drive-by shooting.
The police found the notorious 1980s drug dealer gasping for air behind the wheel of a Dodge Ram truck that had several bullet holes through his driver’s side window, The New York Daily News reported.
Martinez, 55, was struck six times in the arm and once in his chest. Medics rushed him to Harlem Hospital but couldn’t save him. Investigators didn’t immediately arrest anyone for the shooting.
It was a violent end for a convicted murderer who inspired the 2002 classic film Paid in Full. It featured rapper Cam’ron as Martinez and Mekhi Phifer, who portrayed Martinez’s business partner Rich Porter.
Martinez was at the top of a cocaine trafficking empire that stretched from New York to Washington, D.C., according to The New York Times. When the criminal justice system caught up to him, Martinez confessed to 14 murders but became a government witness who testified against his underlings. One of the murder victims was his longtime friend Porter.
Authorities released Martinez from prison in 2015 while serving a 35-year sentence. Martinez, who was in a government witness protection program, was last known to live in Maine, according to The New York Post.
When the police found his bullet-ridden body on Sunday, Martinez was carrying identification bearing the name Abraham Rodriguez, the police said.
It’s unclear why Martinez returned to Harlem where he was said to have had enemies.
Porter’s family was among those who seemed to take some grim solace after learning of Martinez’s death, according to the Daily News.
“Now my uncle can finally rest in peace, 32 years later,” Porter’s niece said, according to The News. “It’s just that the pain my mother felt all these years, I've been feeling the pain with her.”
“Every dog has their day and today was his,” she added. “I believe in karma, and I’m glad that I was here to witness it.”