Police: Chandler Officer Killed in Ambush; Alleged Killers Never Had the Cash
The murder of Chandler Detective Carlos Ledesma wasn't the result of a legit drug-deal-gone-wrong as was previously thought. Rather, an ambush planned by the alleged killers to rip off Ledesma and other undercover officers for the 500 pounds of weed they brought to the buy.
At the time of the shootout, authorities we spoke to suspected the murder was the result of a planned robbery and not some discrepancy that occurred during the buy, and today they are saying the suspected killers never even had the cash needed to buy the drugs.
In the days leading up to the deal, Chandler officers had a confidential informant meet two of the suspected killers in a Burger King parking lot, where the men showed the informant what they said was $250,000 -- the amount requested for the 500 pounds of weed.
In reality, cops now say, the men showed the informant "dummy rolls" -- rolls of cash with big bills on top and singles in the middle.
The suspects actually only had about $1,000.
When undercover officers went to make the deal, they never had a chance -- the men started shooting before officers even knew something was wrong.
At the end of the shootout, Ledesma was dead and two other officers were injured. Two of the suspects were also killed in the exchange, and one was injured.
The suspects, Thadika Singleton, 38, John Webber, 37, Doarnell Jackson, 35, Jerry Wayne Cockhearn, 25, and Eldridge Gittens, 34, each has been charged with first-degree murder, as well as several other crimes including attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to sell marijuana.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.