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Home Meth Lab Operator Receives 18½-Year Prison Term

(Phoenix, Ariz. – March 5, 2009)  Attorney General Terry Goddard announced today that Joseph George Martinez, 43, of Phoenix, has been sentenced in Maricopa County Superior Court to 18½ years in prison for multiple drug crimes, including producing methamphetamine in a home lab. 

In November 2008, a Maricopa County jury found Martinez guilty of felony charges of conspiracy, illegally conducting an enterprise, manufacture of a dangerous drug, possession for sale of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He had been previously convicted of attempted manufacture of methamphetamine in 1997. 

Detectives obtained a search warrant for Martinez’s house in 2005 after witnessing an individual leave the home with trash characteristic of a meth lab. When the detectives entered the house, they found what they described as a “very sophisticated and largescale meth lab.” They also found a 19-month-old child in the house who had to be rescued before the lab could be dismantled. A seven-year-old child also resided there but was not home at the time. 

“Meth presents a danger not only to those who use it but to our whole community, particularly those who live near the highly volatile labs,” Goddard said. “It is particularly disturbing when meth users endanger the lives of children.” 

Assistant Attorney General Paula Alleman prosecuted the case.