It's the first quadruple murder the police department in Chester, New York, has ever investigated, as best Police Chief Peter Graziano can recall. The man suspected of doing the killings? A retired cop. Nicholas Tartaglione, formerly of the Briarcliff Manor PD, was arrested Monday; the 49-year-old is charged with killing four men in or around April 2016 while engaged in a conspiracy to distribute at least 5 kilograms of cocaine. On Tuesday, four people's remains were uncovered at a 170-acre property in Mount Hope that Tartaglione is renting. The Times Herald-Record described Tuesday's effort as a "massive evidence-gathering operation," comprised of more than three dozen police vehicles and two excavators.
Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna, and Hector Gutierrez were captured on surveillance video between 2:30pm and 3pm on April 11. The men were seen getting out of a car outside a Chester diner, and the Journal-News reports that other than a 5pm phone conversation Miguel Luna had with a relative, the men haven't been heard from since. CBS New York reports prosecutors suspect the men were killed inside the Likquid Lounge, which sits in the same plaza and is owned by Tartaglione's brother. Authorities aren't saying how they zeroed in on Tartaglione, but do note that some of the missing men may have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tartaglione has been receiving a $65,000 annual pension since he retired on disability in 2008, but recently applied for a spot with the Mount Vernon PD. (Read more murder stories.)