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JADE Rock(s)!

Man pleads guilty to drug charges from 1 month after leaving prison

A Charlottesville man involved in a 2008 shooting of a juvenile pleaded guilty Wednesday to unrelated drug, weapons and probation violation charges.

Pee Wee Carmello Martinez, 22, pleaded guilty in Charlottesville Circuit Court to charges of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine and a probation violation.

Martinez was arrested in February after drugs were found in a car he was traveling in, prosecutors said. He had been out of prison for less than a month at the time of his arrest.

Martinez was one of two people arrested on Feb. 21 during a traffic stop on Interstate 64 in eastern Albemarle County. Members of the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force found more than 2 ounces of powder cocaine in the vehicle at the time of the stop, Albemarle County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elliott Casey said in court Wednesday.

The driver of the car, 21-year-old Deshanta Trent of Charlottesville, was found guilty in July in Albemarle County Circuit Court on a charge of purchasing a firearm for a convicted felon, court records show.

After the pair was arrested, investigators found a loaded 9 mm handgun and an additional 3.2 grams of crack cocaine in Trent’s Charlottesville apartment, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said Trent bought the gun for Martinez in the weeks before they were arrested.

Martinez admitted after his arrest to traveling up to New York to buy drugs and said the cocaine belonged to him, Casey said. Martinez had also sold drugs to members of JADE in the weeks before the traffic stop, prosecutors said.