Martin Trempe Sentenced to Two Years on Drug Charges
Martin Trempe, the Quebec Heavyweight originally set to welcome ex-NHL goon Donald Brashear into MMA prior to suffering a shoulder injury last June, was sentenced to two years in federal prison Friday after pleading guilty to marijuana-related criminal charges. Following his court appearance, he was immediately transported to the minimum-security Saint-Anne-des-Plaines Institution, a half-hour northwest of Montreal, to begin serving his time.
The 0-2 Trempe was first arrested in the early morning of April 14, 2011, while surveilling a marijuana cultivation site in Saint-Hippolyte, a municipality in his native Laurentians.
He explained why he had accepted the illegal work in an exclusive interview a week later. “I was offered money (to watch the site) and couldn’t refuse,” said the 27 year-old. “I’d wanted to work out seriously for a long time, but wasn’t able to – I couldn’t afford it. I was unemployed and succumbed to temptation. If I trained more, I wouldn’t be distracted by this silliness.”
Trempe was eventually charged under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act with marijuana production and possession with intent to distribute. Facing two years per offense following his guilty plea Friday, the judge specified that the sentences would be served concurrently. As it is his first Federal conviction, Trempe will likely only serve 16 months, given existing early release guidelines.
In his professional debut in November 2010, Trempe gassed out against Robert Masson at Ringside 9 in Montreal, opting not to continue following the first round. Returning two months later at Rising Star 1, a now-defunct Ringside sister-promotion focused on developing up-and-coming talent, he engaged in a back-and-forth brawl with fellow Heavyweight Jeff Breau before being dropped by a vicious liver kick and suffering his second TKO loss in the opening round.
Following the two fights and his arrest, Trempe expressed concern with how his legal troubles could affect his fighting future. “When I found MMA, I’d hoped to put all my eggs in the same basket and succeed,” said Trempe, who previously served four months in prison on a provincial drug charge in 2008. “It’s very scary to think I might not be able to do something I love.”
According to an official contacted today at the Regie des Alcools Courses et Jeux (RACJ), Quebec’s governing body for professional combat sports, Trempe’s criminal record will play a role in whether or not he gets re-licensed should he submit a request to do so following his release from prison.
Between his April arrest and recent sentencing, Trempe had hoped to bounce back and make a name for himself in MMA. Unfortunately, an injury forced him out of what would have been his highest-profile bout yet, a Ringside 11 tilt in June against the debuting Donald Brasher. As he rehabbed his shoulder, Trempe dipped back into the amateur ranks, fighting three times for the Empire Fight League promotion, and most recently in November at Victory MMA 4, going 2-2 in the process.
*** all photos by Julian Cymbalista-Clapp