Chandler, AZ Beheading Tied to Mexican Drug cartel

Posted: March 3, 2011 in Battlefield Arizona, Mexico: Failed State, Trans-Border Crime

by Laurie Merrill – Mar. 2, 2011 04:53 PM
The Arizona Republic

 The man whose decapitated body was found in a Chandler apartment was killed in retaliation for stealing 400 pounds of marijuana from a Mexican drug trafficking organization, a police report reveals.

The Chandler police report also reveals that the victim believed in Santa Muerte, a Mexican saint of death, and had bragged to his companions shortly before his beheading that he had died and come back to life five times and could kill with a look.

The body of Martin Alejandro Cota Monroy, 38, commonly known as “Jando,” was found on the living room floor of 300 W. Fairview St. on Oct. 9. His head was found on the floor several feet away.

Cota Monroy ran afoul of the PEI-Estatales/El Chapo Drug Trafficking Organization when he stole a load of marijuana as well as methamphetamines from the cartel, then lied and blamed in on Border Patrol, the police report says.

To avenge the theft, an enforcement/kidnapping group called “Los Relampagos” was sent to kidnap him, according to the report. The report contains “raw intelligence” Chandler police obtained from the U.S. Border Patrol Intelligence Unit.

Cota Monroy talked his way out of getting killed, the report says, because he promised to repay the money for the drugs he stole and put his house up for collateral.

Instead, he fled to a Phoenix “safe house.” It turned out he didn’t own the house he put up for collateral. A syndicate known as “El Gio” sent three men to Phoenix to find him, befriend him and kill him, the report says.

Those three alleged assassins, Juan Campos Morales Aguilar, Jose David Castro Reyes and a third man whose full name is not known, were among the group drinking with Cota Monroy the day he was beheaded, the report says.

The group started out drinking and dancing at El Coyote bar, then finished the night at the Fairview Street apartment. Two of the alleged hit men had grown up in Ursulo Galvan Valle in En Palme, Sonora, Mex.,

with two residents of the apartment, police said.

As the three alleged hit men, the victim and a neighbor from an apartment across a walkway drank Tecate and Bud Light beers, they talked of Santa Muerte, and had a “scary look,” one witness told police.

Glass candles adorned with the saint glowed in the kitchen, surrounding a small statue and appearing like a shrine, police said.

Some Mexican drug cartel members believe Santa Muerte protects them from death, police have said. Hundreds of Mexicans are beheaded every year.

Cota Monroy bragged in the hours before his killing “that he was protected from death and could cause death just by giving a look.”

About 5 a.m. that day, Cota Monroy’s head was stabbed and hit and his head was cut off, police said.

The neighbor, Crisantos Moroyoqui, 36, walked across the walkway to his apartment and fell asleep. His shoes were covered in blood. He was later arrested and told police he had no memory of the beheading.

The three alleged hit men fled the scene in a 2003 red Ford Expedition, according to the police report.

They were last seen in the town where they grew up, according to the report.

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