Cleveland man, charged in Warren murder, convicted of weapons charge in federal court

By Ed Runyan


One of two men charged in this spring’s massive Warren weapons and drugs roundup, who also faces a murder charge out of Warren, has been found guilty of a gun charge in federal court.

David Martin, 28, of Cleveland, was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm Wednesday after a trial in U.S. District Court in Akron. He faces sentencing at 10 a.m. Oct. 10.

Martin still faces trial in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on a murder charge that could include the death penalty.

He’s accused of killing Jeremy Cole, 21, and attempting to kill Melissa Putnam, 29, Sept. 27 in Putnam’s Oak Street Southwest Warren home.

According to federal court documents, Martin sold a firearm in a fake store operated by federal agents called Stinky Pete’s on Youngstown Road on Sept. 6.

The sale took place after Margaret Devore, 32, of Ashtabula negotiated the sale for him. Devore also was indicted in the federal weapons and drugs roundup, dubbed “Operation Little D-Town.”

She faces three federal counts of distribution of Oxycodone and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Court documents say Stinky Pete’s sold merchandise such as shoes, clothing and candles to the public starting in spring 2012.

But its true purpose was to catch people selling drugs and weapons and was manned by undercover agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and was equipped with electronic monitoring equipment.

Devore started coming to the store in August 2012 and sold Oxycodone to an undercover officer. On Sept. 6, Devore sold the agent heroin, then arranged to sell a weapon.

Later that day, Martin took the weapon from a vehicle he arrived in with Devore, brought the weapon inside through the back door and left it inside. He returned to the car and waited for Devore to bring the money — $450 — which he appeared to be counting, federal documents said.

In the murder case, Martin is accused of entering Putnam’s house, ordering her to tie up Cole and find the keys to Cole’s car, then shooting Cole, who lived on Robert Avenue Northwest in Warren.

Martin then went to a different room and shot Putnam in the back of the head, but her hand blocked the shot from penetrating her skull, and she survived.

Martin is one of two people accused of committing murder while also being investigated during the 10-month drugs-and-weapons investigation.

The other is Derrick Peete, 22, of Detroit, charged with murder in the Nov. 11 killing of Marco Dukes in the backyard of an apartment house on Elm Road in Warren near the downtown area.

Peete was charged with two counts of heroin possession in the Little D-Town investigation.

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