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NY Times Article on Alpo: He Was in Witness Protection, But His Harlem Life Kept Calling



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 4 months ago '21        #1
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NY Times Article on Alpo: He Was in Witness Protection, But His Harlem Life Kept Calling
 

 
He Was in Witness Protection in Maine. But His Harlem Life Kept Calling.


In Lewiston, Maine, a man who called himself Abraham helped his neighbors with the trash and rode dirt bikes with his friend. His old life in New York City got him k*lled.

It was 2016, and Abraham Rodriguez received a text message that made him light up. It was from his friend Nik Pappaconstantine, who had just picked up a new toy: a sleek, speedy dirt bike — perfect for back road riding in Lewiston, the small city in Maine where they lived.

Mr. Rodriguez had just turned 50, and had arrived in Lewiston a year or so before with nothing. He met Mr. Pappaconstantine, who worked at a local bank, when he came in to set up his first-ever bank account, and the two men grew close. They bonded over a shared love of cars and adventure sports, and when Mr. Rodriguez saw the text he bolted over to try out the new bike.

They carted the motorcycle to the woods, and Mr. Rodriguez hopped on. He revved the engine, popped a wheelie and rode it for a quarter mile. Then he turned, popped another, and rode it back, slipping through the empty, wooded field like a professional street rider.

Mr. Pappaconstantine was stunned. But Mr. Rodriguez laughed it off: “I used to ride bikes back in the day,” his friend recalled him saying.

At the time, Mr. Pappaconstantine brushed off the remark. It would be years before he learned that Abraham Rodriguez was not the man’s name; his friend with the trick skills was actually Alberto (Alpo) Martinez, one of New York City’s most notorious cocaine dealers of the 1980s.

Five years after he tore through that Maine field on a dirt bike, Mr. Martinez’s wild ride ended on Halloween in Harlem, when he was shot and k*lled through the window of a lifted pickup that he drove into the city from Maine.

The end was as dramatic as the rest of Mr. Martinez’s life. As a young man in Harlem, Mr. Martinez rocketed to infamy as one of the flashiest, most successful cocaine dealers during the height of the drug’s popularity. His fall, though, was swift: He murdered one of his best friends, expanded his business to Washington, D.C., and by 1991 was arrested and charged in a sweeping drug trafficking case. He would later inform on scores of a*sociates as a federal witness.

Now, as the police investigate his murder, they say they are running into an unusual problem: An awful lot of people wanted to see Alpo Martinez dead.

“No shortage of suspects,” said one senior law enforcement official at the time of the k*lling. “Part of the difficulty may be too many suspects with too many motives.”

In the aftermath of Mr. Martinez’s death, friends and neighbors who knew him in Lewiston have clammed up, unsure how to feel about the man they knew as a kind, affable friend.

“He was the nicest neighbor,” said Marissa Ritchey, who was smoking a cigarette in an icy parking lot Saturday, and throwing a ball for her dog. “He was always polite, nice with the dog.”

“You never would have thought anything,” she said. “He was one of the decent ones. He’d help the old people take their trash out.”

In Lewiston, Mr. Martinez’s k*lling was a bizarre, dark blip in a former mill town of about 36,000 people nestled between Portland and Augusta on the Androscoggin River.

“There certainly was some buzz around town,” the Lewiston mayor, Carl Sheline, said of Mr. Martinez’s death. A convicted murderer from New York City, he said, was “not your average neighbor” in town.

“Who would have thought that?” said a neighbor, Harold Hanlon, who had a friendly relationship with the man he knew as Abraham. “I was just as shocked as the next person when my neighbor goes, ‘Hey, Abraham got k*lled.’ What?”

Even in death, a coherent picture of Mr. Martinez’s double life — which was once the subject of a Hollywood movie — proves elusive. He was both a loyal confidant and one of the most infamous turncoats in New York lore. He was a kind friend and an admitted, ruthless k*ller; a selfless neighbor and a man so loathed in Harlem that former friends popped champagne in the streets to celebrate his violent end.

“He died almost like a comic book villain,” said Kevin Chiles, a reformed cocaine dealer and former friend of Mr. Martinez’s from Harlem. “He antagonized fate.”

Living in two worlds

The path that led Mr. Martinez from New York to Lewiston and then back — to his death in the neighborhood where he made his name — began more than 30 years ago. Nicknamed “The Mayor of Harlem,” Mr. Martinez rose to fame as a kingpin of the crack cocaine era, known for luxury cars and loud street bikes ripping wheelies down entire city blocks.

“He was an attention seeker and an adrenaline junkie,” Mr. Chiles said. “You have to figure, we were all young adults, teenagers, and we had more money than we knew what to do with.”

But even in an illicit business, Mr. Martinez’s ruthlessness stood out. In 1990, he orchestrated the k*lling of a close friend and fellow dealer, Rich Porter.

The k*lling was the beginning of the end of Mr. Martinez’s reign. He was arrested less than a year later after attempting to expand his cocaine empire to Washington, D.C. Facing drug-trafficking charges, Mr. Martinez — one of Harlem’s hardest players — agreed to become a federal witness, and pleaded guilty to contracting seven murders. His testimony would decimate the Washington, D.C., metro area’s cocaine infrastructure.

“He’s k*lled people for less than what he ultimately turned out to be and do,” Mr. Chiles said.

The betrayal would later be set to film in the movie “Paid in Full,” which followed fictionalized versions of Mr. Martinez, Mr. Porter and another kingpin through Mr. Porter’s k*lling.

Mr. Martinez’s real-life arrangement earned him a mitigated sentence, and a place in the federal witness protection program. The program, which officials routinely note has a 100 percent success rate of keeping witnesses safe when they adhere to its rules, requires participants to completely leave behind their old life, identity and contacts.

Released on parole in 2015 with a new name — Abraham Rodriguez — Mr. Martinez started over in Lewiston, the kind of place where people mind their own business and don’t tend to pry, said Shawn Gummo, an owner of a local construction company.

Shielded by the program, Mr. Martinez flourished. He got his commercial driver’s license and started working for Walmart, and played basketball with teenagers in the area. With the help of Mr. Pappaconstantine, he set up in an apartment, and was a well-liked neighbor.

Still, Mr. Martinez’s old life and legacy beckoned. Almost as soon as he got out of prison, Mr. Martinez reached out to Mr. Chiles through a mutual friend. He said he wanted to explain himself, and what had happened in 1991. Soon, he was regularly returning to Harlem.

“There were these sightings, almost like Bigfoot,” Mr. Chiles said. “People would say that they’d seen him.”

A search for redemption

Mr. Martinez’s trips to Harlem would have almost certainly been a violation of his witness protection arrangement. (The U.S. Marshals, who operate the witness protection program, did not comment for this story.) Those who knew him in his post-incarcerated life said he seemed to have been kicked out of the program around the same time that he started returning to the city.

“He apparently had somehow messed up the conditions of witness protection back in 2018,” Mr. Pappaconstantine said. “He would ride down to New York with somebody else. He was always worried about the government watching.”

Around the same time, Mr. Martinez also appeared to capitalize off his notoriety — in a YouTube clip from 2019, Mr. Martinez takes the film director Troy Reed to the corner where he says he k*lled Mr. Porter.

“It happened right here. At this light,” Mr. Martinez says in the video clip, leaning his head against the car window. “I grabbed the gun from my little man and put one in his head.”

By 2020, Abraham Rodriguez had largely disappeared from Maine. Alpo Martinez was once again a fixture in Harlem.

What ultimately got Mr. Martinez k*lled in the early hours of Halloween remains a mystery. Some say the k*lling was a belated meting of long-sought street justice for testifying against so many former a*sociates. Others posit that Mr. Martinez was k*lled over a girl, or simply found trouble the same way he always had: He was c*cky and ambitious, and angered the wrong people.

A senior law enforcement official said investigators now believe Mr. Martinez likely was back in the drug trade in Harlem. When the police discovered him dead in his truck last year, a trail of heroin packets led from his open window down the street, the official said — as if he had tossed the drugs out of the car in a panic.

For those like Mr. Pappaconstantine, who only learned the true identity of Mr. Martinez just before his death, his demise feels complicated.

“I want to sit here and say I know that he was fully genuine all the time,” Mr. Pappaconstantine said, struggling to articulate his feelings on his former friend. “You take somebody you know unbelievably well, and then you read this thing and it doesn’t connect.”

But to Mr. Chiles, Mr. Martinez was never going to start over — it was always going to end in Harlem.

“He wanted to peg his hat on redemption,” said Mr. Chiles, adding that Mr. Martinez’s thirst for his former glory may also have played a role. “He’s a narcissist beyond anything that I could put my finger on. He needed that attention.”

In a scene that now feels foreboding, Mr. Martinez’s character in “Paid in Full” spends the final scene agreeing to cooperate with federal agents.

“I’m not snitching on nobody in Harlem,” Mr. Martinez’s character says. “Cause when I come home, I’m still gon’ be the king.”

visit this link https://www.nytimes.com/2 .. nez-death.html
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159 comments
 

 4 months ago '14        #2
strungout  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x7
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“You never would have thought anything,” she said. “He was one of the decent ones. He’d help the old people take their trash out.”




Last edited by strungout; 01-26-2022 at 08:41 AM..
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 4 months ago '19        #3
MP2019  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 strungout said
and the transgender affair needs to be included
+95   

 4 months ago '16        #4
Fumo 
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Lewiston, Maine is the stix sheesh...
I've rented cabins like the next town over from Lewiston and that sh*t dead af only thing there is sunday river...
He had no chance there...
It's peaceful but after the first week it gets boring af. If you into outdoors sh*t you'll love it. I can't do more then a week up there myself...
+53   

 4 months ago '14        #5
strungout  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x7
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 MP2019 said
this guy on youtube said it, his name is star, and he's low key obsessed with transgender people


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 4 months ago '20        #6
LordGimmeASign 
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 MP2019 said
Same reaction I had. I read on here that he possibly got k*lled over a broad but this is new...
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 4 months ago '14        #7
Bigboi781  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x22
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Was just about to post this, what a retars
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 4 months ago '05        #8
JohnnyCage202  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x10
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I feel like he knew he was gonna die eventually because well, we all are…

…I feel like he wanted for it to all end in Harlem.

He knew what it was…


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 4 months ago '20        #9
Tweezy12  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x10
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If only alpo could of lived 10 more minutes he could of did what he did best one more time....fu*king rat
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 4 months ago '17        #10
The Almighty240 
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 LordGimmeASign said
Same reaction I had. I read on here that he possibly got k*lled over a broad but this is new...
Star has been trolling Alpo since he died dating a tranny smoked Alpo cause he wouldn’t go public with there relationship. The week Alpo died Star had 4 shows trolling Alpo.
+10   

 4 months ago '11        #11
Broseph Stalin  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x8
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could’ve probably lived to be a 90 year old nobody living in Maine but he had to be the man in Harlem decades after the fact.


That’s what happens when you roll the dice

Edit: on rereading I can’t believe I didn’t catch this.
“You never would have thought anything,” she said. “He was one of the decent ones. He’d help the old people take their trash out.”

In Lewiston, Mr. Martinez’s k*lling was a bizarre, dark blip in a former mill town of about 36,000 people nestled between Portland and Augusta on the Androscoggin River.


Last edited by Broseph Stalin; 01-25-2022 at 08:21 PM..
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 4 months ago '19        #12
FrivolousSports 
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A man's ego is the devil hyping him up
+60   

 4 months ago '20        #13
LordGimmeASign 
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 Kierris said
This write up seems very generic and watered down. Was this written by a yakub?
NY Times article so most likely so...

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 4 months ago '17        #14
The Gary Group  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x115
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To Alpos credit, being locked up 25 years from society at 20 something years old, your mind freezes at the time you were free. So when he got out, he went back to where his mind left off. That's why it's imperative to get psychiatric treatment when released from prison because it's meant to break you mentally. He had no chance at living a quiet life away from the big city especially if he was as extroverted as he was.
+67   

 4 months ago '17        #15
The Gary Group  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x115
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 FrivolousSports said
A man's ego is the devil hyping him up
Wow. This is facts here
+19   

 4 months ago '04        #16
Aesop730 
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Article is lacking and hollow.
+12   

 4 months ago '16        #17
Beamin23 
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Hole up so you did his crime in NY and they put him in wit/sec in Maine? GTFOH they would of put his a*s in Washington state somewhere not less than 400 miles away from where he caught his bodies


Last edited by Beamin23; 01-25-2022 at 07:38 PM..
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 4 months ago '19        #18
Playboi23  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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I know this n*gga was a rat but dude was a different type of n*gga fr. How you k*ll 14 mfs, snitch then go to prison for 35 years untouched?? Then the n*gga gets out says fu*k witness protection and goes back to the same hood where hella mfs want him dead… n*gga was a pyscho fr
+55   

 4 months ago '16        #19
Boogie1790  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 Kierris said
This write up seems very generic and watered down. Was this written by a yakub?
A yakub?

You know yakub was a big head BLACK scientist
+14   

 4 months ago '17        #20
TrillestTalk404  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x5
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Alpo was a snitch that cooperated with the govt and told on many people despite knowing the rules when he signed up. HE WAS NOT A CIVILIAN. I'm just glad Alpo got smoked and that the rat finally got what was coming




Last edited by TrillestTalk404; 01-25-2022 at 09:18 PM..
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 4 months ago '08        #21
EMER1TUS 
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 strungout said
“You never would have thought anything,” she said. “He was one of the decent ones. He’d help the old people take their trash out.”






his story needs to told, and the transgender affair needs to be included
I caught that too
+14   

 4 months ago '04        #22
Adwerdz  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x83
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 FrivolousSports said
A man's ego is the devil hyping him up
That part, Im going to war with these demons
+9   

 4 months ago '20        #23
LordGimmeASign 
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@ This the author.


+10   

 4 months ago '19        #24
FrivolousSports 
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 The Gary Group said
Wow. This is facts here
Evil
Guiding
Oneself

+19   

 4 months ago '18        #25
jakepaulstan  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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 Playboi23 said
I know this n*gga was a rat but dude was a different type of n*gga fr. How you k*ll 14 mfs, snitch then go to prison for 35 years untouched?? Then the n*gga gets out says fu*k witness protection and goes back to the same hood where hella mfs want him dead… n*gga was a pyscho fr
Thug behavior
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