Otisville man convicted in Likquid Lounge murder case

Chester. Ex-cop and cellmate to Jeffrey Epstein, Nicholas Tartaglione, was convicted in the murder of four men from Middletown.

| 11 Apr 2023 | 12:19

Former Briarcliff Manor police officer turned drug dealer, Nicholas Tartaglione, was convicted Thursday April 6 in the strangulation death of one man and the execution-style murders of three others.

All four victims, Martin Sosa-Luna, Urbano Morales-Santiago, Miguel Sosa-Luna, and Hector Gutierrez were Middletown, N.Y. residents. Their bodies were recovered in December 2016, about eight months after they were killed, in Otisville, N.Y.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement that Tartaglione masterminded the killings after suspecting that Martin Sosa-Luna had stolen money from him.

Tartaglione lured Martin Sosa-Luna into meeting him at Likquid Lounge, a bar that used to be located in Chester’s Quickway Plaza.

“Unaware he was being lured into a deadly trap, Martin tragically brought his two nephews — Miguel and Urbano — and a family friend — Hector — to the meeting,” Williams said. “What occurred next could only be described as pure terror, as Tartaglione tortured Martin, then forced one of his nephews to watch as Tartaglione strangled Martin to death with a zip tie.”

Prosecutors said in court papers that Tartaglione drove Luna’s body to his Otisville ranch, while his co-conspirators brought the other three men “alive and bound” to the same place.

The prosecutor said Tartaglione and two associates then transported the three other men to a remote wooded location, forcing them to kneel before shooting each of them in the back of the head and burying all four in a mass grave. Prosecutors said Tartaglione shot one of the remaining three men himself.

“Tartaglione’s heinous acts represent a broader betrayal, as he was a former police officer who once swore to protect the very community he devastated,” Williams said.

He said the conviction will ensure that “Tartaglione faces a lifetime in federal prison for his unconscionable murder of four men.”

At trial, defense attorneys argued that Tartaglione had nothing to do with the killings and was being used by the government as a convenient fall guy.

In July 2019, Tartaglione shared a Manhattan jail cell with Jeffrey Epstein when the wealthy financier was placed on suicide watch after being discovered with bruises on his neck. Epstein hanged himself weeks later while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges when Tartaglione was not his cellmate.