Jan Brewer's Near-Redemption: Man Gets 14 Years in Prison for Cartel Beheading in Chandler

The man who kind of made Governor Jan Brewer's comments about headless bodies in the desert a reality was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

"Law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," Brewer said back in June 2010.

See also:
-"Spillover" Violence From Mexico Not Really Happening, According to Border Cops
-Jan Brewer's Quest to Find Headless Cartel-Linked Bodies in Desert Finally Yields Fruit
-Chandler Man Arrested for Allegedly Chopping Off Neighbor's Head

By October 2010 -- months after the comment, and months after it became very clear that Brewer made up the claim -- a headless body finally was linked to a cartel killing, and it was "in the desert" insofar as an apartment in Chandler is "in the desert."

The body of 38-year-old Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy, a.k.a. "Jando," was found stabbed in his apartment, near Arizona Avenue between Frye and Pecos Roads, and his head was found on the floor, a few feet away.

Police ended up arresting Crisantos Moroyoqui for murder on that same October day.

It wasn't until a few months later that Chandler PD revealed that they believed Cota-Monroy was beheaded for stealing 400 pounds of weed and some meth from a Mexican drug cartel.

Now, here's the bad news:

Moroyoqui, 38, pleaded no contest to a second-degree murder charge and was sentenced today to 14 years in prison. That means a guy who chopped off someone's head for stealing a large load of a plant is scheduled to be singin' "Freebird" at age 52.

Also, when police announced in 2011 that this killing was believed to be related to a drug cartel, they also announced that they were looking for three more suspects in the assassination.

We checked in with the Chandler PD today, and the other three suspected killers -- Juan Campos Morales Aguilar, Jose David Castro Reyes, and a man known only as "El Joto" -- are still on the run.

Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley