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Notorious Drug Kingpin Alpo Martinez Shot and Killed in Harlem

By Kiani Shabazz

Alberto “Alpo” Martinez, the notorious drug dealer who ran the streets of New York City in the 1980s, has been shot and killed on Sunday morning (October 31) on a Harlem street corner. He was 55. 

Martinez was the inspiration for Cam’ron’s character Rico in the 2002 cult classic film Paid in Full, which follows the lives of fellow drug dealers Martinez, A.Z., and Rich Porter, who notoriously built a drug empire in their hometown of Harlem. 

Alpo has been named dropped in countless rap lyrics, mentioned by the likes of Nas, The Game, JAY-Z, Shyne, Meek Mill, Future, and many more. 

According to The Source, police detailed Martinez was shot multiple times in the chest early Sunday morning on 147th Street near Frederick Douglass Blvd before being rushed to the hospital. Martinez could not be saved. 

Before his death, Martinez was marked as a snitch in the streets of New York. After becoming a government informant during his stint in the pen, Martinez was released on witness protection in 2015 as he returned to his home in Harlem. 

During his time, Martinez reportedly reached out to another kingpin peer who was doing time to assure him that he hadn’t ratted him out. 

“Alpo told the female friend, ‘Me and Kev were cool. Kev believes I told on him, and I just want to talk to him to set the record straight with him,’” Chiles revealed. “‘Can you give him the message and get back to me?’”

“We were all friends [Chiles, Porter, and Martinez]. Preceding him killing Rich, we were all cool on the street.  We hung out. We got money. The fact that he told on anyone is not okay for me, and there is nothing to discuss, but even if he didn’t tell, we still wouldn’t be good because he killed Rich. I’m not cool with how that went.”

Funeral arrangements have yet to be determined for the 55-year old man. Prayers go out to Martinez’s family, friends, and loved ones.