Federal authorities say the woman known as “Auntie” didn’t just oversee one of the Baltimore area’s major heroin and cocaine networks. She also took out insurance policies on the lives of her drug contacts, authorities said, and then cashed in hundreds of thousands of dollars when some met untimely, violent deaths. Federal authorities announced yesterday that they have shut down Paulette Martin’s drug network and a years-long money-laundering scheme.
Martin and 30 other people have been indicted in U.S. District Court in their involvement in her alleged conspiracies. Martin was indicted on charges of drug conspiracy and mail-wire fraud. Federal agents said they are looking into the deaths of drug dealers on whom Martin had clandestinely taken out life insurance policies – part of a scheme she is accused of using to clean up drug proceeds. Since June 1995, federal prosecutors said, Martin had conspired with an insurance agent to open at least 17 life insurance policies on a number of her drug contacts. She paid the premiums on the policies with proceeds from her drug trafficking, prosecutors said. When the individuals died, she and her alleged co-conspirators collected and split the insurance money, prosecutors said.