Martin Santiago

Police: Fugitive on the run, cuts off tracking device days before trial

A Massachusetts fugitive accused of money laundering is on the run after he cut off his court-ordered GPS monitoring bracelet hours before his trial was set to begin Sunday, reports Boston Herald. 

Martin B. Santiago, 49, of the Dominican Republic, was set to go to trial Sunday. Investigators didn’t realize he “forcibly removed” the device around 6 a.m. until he didn’t show in court.

Santiago was accused of being involved in a $1.5 million dollar scheme in which he fraudulently sold food stamps and laundered money through three stores he owned in Lawrence. He was arrested in June 2015 and was ordered to wear the tracking device while waiting for trial. He posted $75,000 cash bail, police say.

[Photo: Massachusetts State Police]
He is described as being a 5-foot, 11-inch Hispanic man weighing about 190 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Authorities are seeking help from the public to locate Santiago. He has also been known as Mark Santiago and Martin Billone Santiago. The fugitive is fluent in Spanish and has ties to the Lawrence and Methuen areas.

Santiago is charged with money laundering, food stamp trafficking, and larceny over $250.

Mass Live reports that Santiago is Dominican and is not a U.S. citizen.

Anyone with information about Santiago’s whereabouts is urged to call Massachusetts State Police at 1-800-KAPTURE (800-527-8873).

Check back with Crime Online for updates as this story continues to develop.

[Feature photo: Massachusetts State Police]