Police in New York City made an arrest late Sunday in the Oct. 31, 2021, murder of Alberto “Alpo” Martinez, a notorious drug dealer who had lived in Lewiston for more than five years under a federal witness protection program.

Police charged 27-year-old Shakeem Parker of New York City with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the Daily News in New York.

Alpo Martinez sent this photograph of himself in a Rolls Royce in Atlanta to a friend in Maine earlier this year. Submitted photo

Details are scant, but the tabloid said Parker was already in the city’s Rikers Island jail on a separate case involving a gun.

Martinez, 55, a notorious drug dealer in the 1980s, spent almost a quarter-century in federal prison after acknowledging his role in at least 14 murders.

After his release, he went into a federal witness protection program that landed him in a College Street apartment in Lewiston under the name Abraham Rodriguez for more than five years. He moved back to New York permanently about a month before he was shot to death while driving his truck outside a Harlem nightclub on Halloween.

Martinez rose to prominence in the crack trade in New York City and Washington, D.C., during the 1980s, when he became a figure so well known that one of his nicknames was “The Mayor of Harlem.” He was often seen with flashy cars, glamorous women and lots of jewelry.


He became something of a role model for the hip-hop generation coming of age in those days and wound up as a major character in the 2002 movie “Paid in Full,” which captured both his glamor and his duplicity in naming names to escape the death penalty at the hands of federal prosecutors.

There has been a swirl of speculation about Martinez’s murder, but it is unclear why police say Parker shot him.

Parker was one of more than two dozen Rikers Island prisoners who filed a request in April 2020 to be released because of the threat posed by COVID-19.

At the time, Parker was in jail because of an alleged parole violation. He said in the legal paperwork he could not afford his $30,000 cash bail.

Parker said in the petition to the court that he had asthma and was at high risk if he were to contract COVID-19.

If a judge released him, he said, he would live with his mother and “safely isolate” in order to protect himself and the New York community.

It is unclear whether a judge granted his release.

Parker has been held at Rikers Island since Nov. 6, according to a report in Complex.com, which said that city records say he faced multiple weapons violations.

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