Man gets 10 years for holding 3 people at gunpoint at his Lakeside home


SAN DIEGO — A man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for holding three people at gunpoint at his Lakeside home in 2019, according to federal prosecutors.

Joseph Anthony Martino, a 47-year-old convicted felon with a long criminal history that prevents him from legally owning guns, was sentenced Friday to 120 months in prison for kidnapping and possessing firearms, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

The sentence was handed down Friday nearly a year after Martino pleaded guilty to holding three people hostage and pointing loaded guns, including a fully automatic assault rifle, at their heads at his Lakeside home, the news release says.

Prosecutors say Martino wanted to confront one of the victims about a personal relationship. On April 1, 2019, he brandished a loaded, fully automatic Heckler & Koch, model HK-91, .308 caliber rifle at two victims, a man and woman. Martino held the female victim at gunpoint at his house and told the male victim to go pick up the third person, a woman.

“When the third victim arrived at Martino’s residence, the male victim escaped. Martino held a loaded handgun to the heads of the two female victims to confine and coerce them to remain in his residence,” the news release said.

Both women escaped Martino’s home unharmed.

San Diego Sheriff’s deputies and detectives from the Special Enforcement Detail and Crime Suppression Team served a search warrant at Martino’s house on July 3, 2019. They recovered the rifle, approximately 3,500 rounds of assorted ammunition, 19 different magazines, a ballistic body armor engraved with “U.S. Navy Security Forces,” various rifle upper rails, two lower AR-15 receivers and smoke grenades, according to prosecutors.

Martino was arrested on Aug. 6, 2019 and faced the possibility of life in prison for the kidnapping charge.

As part of his plea agreement, Martino admitted his criminal past, which included felony convictions for DUI, possession of a silencer, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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