Three men have been charged with murder and conspiracy in the death of a 45-year-old man who was gunned down after he left the Atlantic City home of then-City Councilman Marty Small Sr. in 2019. They were indicted as part of a larger investigation in which 30 people, including the three, were charged for their roles in a major drug-trafficking operation, Atlantic County prosecutors said Wednesday.
Steven Martinez, 27, of Egg Harbor City, Shamar Scott, 25, of Blackwood, and Deshawn Hose, 23, of Atlantic City, were charged in the Feb. 10, 2019, death of Demond Tally, a longtime friend of Small’s who lived on the same block. Small, now Atlantic City’s mayor, declined to comment on the arrests Wednesday.
Tally’s death “was orchestrated by” Martinez and “carried out by” Scott and Hose, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said at a news conference Wednesday. He did not provide a motive for the shooting.
Asked afterward if Tally, a youth football coach, had any ties to the drug operation, Tyner said by email: “While all aspects of this investigation continue, it should be noted that our investigation did not reveal any indication that Mr. Tally had any ties to this organization.”
Prosecutors say Martinez and another defendant, Shiraz Khan, 31, of North Bergen, led the drug-trafficking operation and since 2016 supplied large quantities of drugs, including heroin and cocaine, for distribution in the county. During the four-year investigation, authorities seized $2.6 million in cash connected to the drug operation, Tyner said.
Martinez was arrested in May 2019 on separate drug-trafficking and weapon charges and has since been in custody at the Burlington County Jail awaiting trial on those counts, Tyner said. Khan was arrested in April 2019 in Egg Harbor Township after a traffic stop by police found 11 ounces of cocaine in his vehicle, the prosecutor said. Even while behind bars in Atlantic County, Khan continued to operate the drug organization, Tyner said.
Martinez, Khan, Scott, Hose, and numerous other defendants in the case were charged with racketeering, conspiracy, and related offenses as part of the alleged drug operation. It was not immediately known if they had defense attorneys in connection with the new indictment, which was handed up by a grand jury last week.