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.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.