|Photo: Steve Jahnke/The Southern Illinoisan
|Gallatin County Sheriff Raymond Martin is transported to the Jackson County Courthouse in Murphysboro, Ill. Martin, already accused of dealing marijuana while on duty, also faces federal charges that he tried to have witnesses killed while he was jailed awaiting trial.
A southern Illinois sheriff accused of selling marijuana on the job has lost in his bid to prevent federal jurors from hearing jailhouse statements he made that led to charges of plotting with his wife and son to have two potential witnesses killed.
Raymond Martin’s quest to have interviews with two investigators last January ruled inadmissible as evidence during his trial was rejected by U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert on Friday.
The sheriff’s trial is scheduled to start Monday, September 6, in Benton, Ill., reports Jim Suhr at STLtoday.com
Federal agents arrested Martin last year on charges he trafficked marijuana while serving as sheriff of Gallatin County, Ill. He allegedly supplied a pot dealer and threatened to kill the man when he said he wanted out.
At least twice, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration agent’s affidavit, Martin pulled his service revolver to press the point that it would be “that easy” to make the dealer “disappear.”
While Martin was jailed on those marijuana charges, authorities claim he masterminded a scheme between September and December 2009 to have witnesses assaulted and possibly killed. None of the witnesses were actually harmed.