Police: AZ beheading tied to Mexican drug cartel
CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) — A man who was stabbed and beheaded in a suburban Phoenix apartment was killed for stealing drugs from a Mexican cartel, according to a police report released today.
Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy stole 400 pounds of marijuana from the cartel, which sent men to kidnap and kill him, according to the Chandler police report.
Cota-Monroy was able to talk his way out of being killed, saying he’d pay back the money and use his house for collateral, the report says.
But the house wasn’t Cota-Monroy’s and he fled, leading the cartel to hire assassins to go to Arizona, befriend Cota-Monroy and kill him.
Cota-Monroy’s body was found Oct. 10 in a Chandler apartment — his severed head a couple of feet away.
“It was a very gruesome scene,” Chandler police Detective David Ramer said Wednesday. “Anytime you see a headless body stabbed multiple times, obviously that’s gruesome. And this is a message being sent — not only are they going to kill you but they’re going to dismember your body, and ‘If you cross us, this is what happens.”’
Police said the cartel Cota-Monroy stole from is known as the PEI-Estatales/El Chapo drug trafficking organization.
One man, Crisantos Moroyoqui, has been charged in the killing, and three others are believed to have fled to Mexico.
The other suspects have been identified as Jose David Castro Reyes, 25; Isai Aguilar Morales, 22, and a man between the ages of 20 and 27 known only by the nickname “El Joto,” a derogatory Spanish term for a gay man.