Iowa man gets 12 years for drug distribution connected to junkies’ 17 armed robberies
By Jennifer Cruz
Luke Martin (top) was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison on drug charges connected to 17 robberies committed by four of his co-defendants, Alexander Hamilton, Sarah Coe, Shelly Avery, and Chris Avery. (Photo: Des Moines Police Department)
A 57-year-old man from Des Moines, Iowa, was sentenced to serve 151 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for drug distribution charges that authorities say are related to a string of armed robberies.
Luke Martin, Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute hydromorphone (Dilaudid) in January. Co-defendants Alexander Hamilton, Sarah Coe, Shelly Avery, and Chris Avery – all of whom face various drug and robbery charges – are awaiting their sentences.
According to court documents, Martin distributed Dilaudid to Hamilton, who in turn supplied it to Coe, as well as Shelly Avery and Chris Avery, who are brother and sister. Authorities say the distribution of the drug led to at least 17 robberies in the Des Moines area over an 8-month period, as the defendants committed the crimes in order to obtain cash to purchase additional drugs.
The majority of the robberies were committed at various gas stations as employees were held at gunpoint. Coe and Shelly Avery are accused of being the