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June 24, 2013 at 4:54 PM

3 charged in connection to November homicide in Lakewood

Prosecutors on Monday charged three men in connection to a November 2012 homicide at a Lakewood apartment complex, officials said.

William Alvarez, 26, Mazzar Robinson, 41, and Robert Leon Smith, 33, were charged with murder in the first degree, attempted robbery in the first degree, burglary in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm, according to a news release from the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

The men are allegedly part of a Mexican drug cartel, along with the victim Jamie Diaz-Solis and his roommate, Juan Hidalgo-Mendoza — who was apparently the actual target, according to the release.

“Foreign drug cartels bring in violence as well as drugs,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in the release.  “Lakewood Police and DEA worked collaboratively to solve this drug-related murder.”

Alvarez allegedly told investigators that he arranged for the men to kill Hidalgo-Mendoza as part of a plan to rise in the ranks in the cartel’s distribution chain, according to prosecutor’s office. But the alleged shooter, Robinson, got Diaz-Solis instead.

The men then ran from the scene, according to the release.

Police who responded to the Lakewood’s apartment complex found the body of Diaz-Solis, surrounded by almost eight pounds of heroin and $37,000 in cash.

Hidalgo-Mendoza has already been sentenced to 15 years to life for drug charges.

On Monday, a judge set bail at $5 million for Robinson, $1.5 million for Alvarez and $1 million for Smith.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Lakewood, Mark Lindquist, Mexican drug cartel

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