3 men charged with murder stemming from drug-trafficking feud
TACOMA — Three men were charged with murder, burglary and attempted robbery Monday in an alleged Mexican drug-trafficking feud that resulted in “hit men” killing the wrong man who had been targeted in Lakewood last year.
The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against William Manuel Alverez Calo, Mazzar Gerald Robinson and Robert Leon Smith Jr. for the Nov. 12, 2012, killing at the Greenwood Apartments of Jamie Diaz-Solis.
Lakewood police said they were called to the Greenwood Apartments last Nov. 12 after reports of shots being fired. They found Diaz-Solis shot to death at the bottom of a stairwell.
Diaz-Solis’ roommate, Juan Hidalgo-Mendoza, told police he was in his bedroom when he heard a man’s voice, then heard gunshots being fired. He said he jumped out his window to escape.
He later told police that he and Diaz-Solis were involved in the preparing and packaging of heroin in their apartment – and police later learned the two were one of two major drug distributors for a Mexican cartel in the Pacific Northwest.
Defendant Alaverez Calo told officers he was a member of the same cartel, but had a falling out with Hildalgo-Mendoza and arranged for shooters to kill Hildalago-Mendoza. Alaverez Calo explained to police that Diaz-Solis was not the intended target but was shot when “things went wrong.”
According to investigators, Alaverez Calo said the plan to kill Hildalgo-Mendoza was designed to look like a robbery and the arranged for individuals to go to the apartment and, in exchange for killing Hildago-Mendoza, the shooters could have any drugs or money in the apartment.