Brighton man called himself ‘Hitman’ as he allegedly sold pistol, State Police say; suspect arrested after chase through Greater Boston
CHELSEA – Since the 1990s, Leroy Martin has been imprisoned at least twice and has used at least six aliases, officials said. Today, officials said he has been using a new name – “Hitman.’’
Martin, 34, was arraigned in Chelsea District Court this morning on several charges, including illegal sale of a firearm and ammunition, and carrying a firearm without a license. Martin, a Brighton resident, pleaded not guilty to all charges and was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail.
It was while using the nickname of “Hitman’’ that Martin came to the attention of State Police and the FBI investigating gang activity and illegal firearm sales on the North Shore, State Police said in a report.
Martin, according to the report, had agreed to sell a .357 caliber pistol to a person who was cooperating with investigators. Martin allegedly identified himself to the cooperating witness as “Hitman.’’
Martin allegedly met with the cooperating witness at the Target store in Revere around 4:30 p.m., and sold the gun for around $700 cash. The transaction was recorded by the cooperating witness and troopers followed Martin from the parking lot as he drove along Route 1 north, Route 16 and again on Route 1 south, State Police said.
When Martin reached the toll booths on the Tobin Bridge, he sped off, State Police said. “There was thick traffic and the suspect was driving recklessly through traffic attempting to evade arrest,’’ State Police Sergeant Paul McCarthy wrote in the report. Martin was driving 45 miles an hour in a 30 mile zone, McCarthy wrote.
Martin allegedly sped away from the toll booths and then onto Storrow Drive, onto the O’Brien Highway and onto Land Boulevard and Broadway in Cambridge, with State Police behind him.
As he allegedly sped through Cambridge, Martin’s reckless driving led a trooper to fire at least one shot toward Martin’s car. The gunfire did not stop Martin, however, State Police said in a report filed in court.
Instead, Martin allegedly continued down Broadway in Cambridge and then over the Longfellow Bridge into Boston where he crashed his car in Charles Circle. Police searched the Boston neighborhood, but Martin was not located until Transit Police and a trooper spotted him at Kendall Square, police said in the report.
In court today, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Christopher Henry said that Martin had been imprisoned in 1998 for 18 months and was released from state prison this spring. According to court records, he pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to charges that he shot and nearly killed his sister’s boyfriend on Dec. 8, 2006 as the victim pleaded for his life.
In April, he was back in court, where he admitted he had violated probation when he was stopped by police for driving after his license had been suspended. Court records show he was released and ordered to remain on probation until 2013.
Martin’s defense attorney said in court Thursday that authorities were rushing to judgment, especially since no firearm was found on him when he was taken into custody.
“It would seem as though this is a case where someone was being followed, they didn’t see the person in the car, they didn’t see the guns on the person,” Marcy Levington, Martin’s court-appointed defense attorney told Judge James Wexler. “It would seem as though a lot of the facts of the case aren’t as solid as the Commonwealth would like us to believe.”
Levington said Martin was the father of six children, three of whom were in court.
Martin is due back in court July 9.John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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