Police arrested a man Thursday in connection to a drug deal turned murder.
On the morning of December 20, the suspect, Aristeo Rodriguez Lopez, and two associates went to the area of 2600 North 43rd Ave to make a drug sale, court documents allege.
During the commission of the drug sale, one of the buyers, David Banuelos, pulled out a large amount of counterfeit currency. Banuelos, part of the buying party, then pulled a gun and attempted to rob the selling party of the marijuana.
A gunfight ensued inside the apartment, and Banuelos, Lopez, and outstanding suspect Ramiro Ortega were shot. Banuelos died as a result of his injury.
Lopez was shot in the leg. Surveillance video shows his associate, Julio Gonzalez Valenzuela, dropped him off at the hospital.
Lopez was released from the hospital Thursday, to be taken into custody.
Police say that Lopez has admitted to going to the apartment with outstanding suspect Julio Valenzuela to sell marijuana to Banuelos and his associates.
Lopez was booked into jail on charges of first degree murder and possession of marijuana for sale. Even if an individual didn't necessarily pull the trigger, since a homicide occurred during the commission of a felony, Lopez can be charged with felony first degree murder.
Court documents also show that Lopez is in the country illegally from Mexico.
150 pounds of marijuana were found inside the apartment, worth an estimated $70,000.
Ortega and Valenzuela are still on the loose and their whereabouts are unknown.
Ortega is known to drive a 2004 Nissan 35OZ with pink wheels, Arizona license plate OFBP33. Valenzuela drives a 2003 Dodge truck, Arizona license plate 51FB40.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police.
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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