A former suburban New York police officer, Nicholas Tartaglione, has been sentenced to four consecutive life sentences for orchestrating the brutal executions of four men in 2016.

The incident unfolded when Tartaglione suspected a man of stealing from him, leading to a sinister series of events that claimed the lives of the accused thief and three of his companions.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan stated that Tartaglione murdered Martin Luna over a monetary dispute and callously executed Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna, and Hector Gutierrez, who were in Luna's company at the wrong place and time. The prosecutor, Damian Williams, condemned Tartaglione's actions as senseless and monstrous, emphasizing the ruthlessness of the executions.

Tartaglione, 56, was found guilty on multiple charges, including murder, kidnapping resulting in death, kidnapping conspiracy, and narcotics conspiracy. Prior to the grisly incident, he had served as a police officer in Briarcliff Manor, Westchester County, situated about 20 miles north of New York City.

An investigation revealed that Tartaglione subjected Martin Luna to torture before ultimately asphyxiating him with a zip tie. Subsequently, he abducted Luna's nephews, Urbano Santiago and Miguel Luna, and their acquaintance, Hector Gutierrez, forcing them to kneel in the woods before fatally shooting them in the head. According to prosecutors, these men were in the wrong place at the wrong time and became unwilling witnesses to the initial murder.

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Tragically, the bodies of the four victims were discovered buried in Tartaglione's property in Otisville, New York, following an intensive search by an FBI task force.

Despite being sentenced to four consecutive life sentences, Tartaglione's attorney, Inga Parsons, emphasized that they would pursue an appeal to establish his innocence. This determination to challenge the verdict comes after a previously unsuccessful attempt to secure a new trial, during which Tartaglione asserted his innocence and highlighted discrepancies in the legal proceedings.

Tartaglione's criminal activities extended beyond his role as a police officer, as prosecutors revealed his involvement in drug trafficking and the distribution of steroids to bodybuilders in the Hudson Valley region. Notably, two individuals, Joseph Biggs and Gerard Benderoth, who aided Tartaglione in the kidnappings and killings, were implicated in these illicit activities.

During the investigation into the murders, Benderoth took his own life while FBI agents were closing in for his arrest. Biggs confessed to his involvement in the crimes and received a 16-year prison sentence for his role in the killing of one of the victims. It was during Tartaglione's trial that Biggs, acting as a witness, provided chilling testimony regarding the details of the killings.

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