Star of the movie, D.O.P.E., 1977 World Freestyle Champion and 1978 U.S. Champion, Dennis Martinez was on the fast track to fame and fortune.
"I was still in high school when I paid cash for a new car and paid for a full year on my own apartment," said Martinez.
With fame and money came the lure of drugs and by the age of 16, Dennis had a cocaine habit that would lead to 16 years on the needle. From the life of a top pro athlete, Martinez took to the streets, using guns to perform armed robberies and to protect his drug stash.
"We played Russian roulette until a 19 year old friend of mine shot and killed himself. We were so spun out on dope that we didn't care," said Martinez.
Today, Dennis Martinez is a volunteer prison chaplain at Calipatria State Prison and a founder of Training Center, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Spring Valley, California.
Photo Credits GLEN E. FRIEDMAN
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