Investigators arrested a retired police officer Dec. 19 after they found the remains of four bodies on his New York state farm. The four men had gone missing earlier that year in a drug deal gone sour.
Nicholas Tartaglione, the ex-cop, was accused of the murders of Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna, and Hector Gutierrez, along with participation in a conspiracy to distribute at least 5 kilograms of cocaine. The murders allegedly occurred in a seedy New York state bar called the Likquid Lounge.
Neighbors of Tartaglione had recently noticed a horrible odor around his property.
“I go to my chicken coop, and I see the backhoe digging, and it scares me because now I know what they’re digging for,” said Kerri-Ann Lynch, 45, to the New York Daily News. “I’d have never suspected this.
"While all murders tear at the fabric of our communities, when the alleged perpetrator of a gangland-style, quadruple homicide is a former police officer, that strikes at the heart of civilized society,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
If found guilty, Tartaglione will face at least 20 years in prison.
As a police officer, Tartaglione had been accused of lying under oath to protect a woman arrested for drunken driving, though he was later acquitted, according to the Daily News. He also was the target of an FBI civil rights investigation for physical abuse of several people, which resulted in a large settlement.