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Sheriff: 3 people arrested in Seattle, 2 arrested in Baton Rouge after drug deal leads to murder

1 year 3 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, February 07 2023 Feb 7, 2023 February 07, 2023 8:54 PM February 07, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Three people tied to a Nov. 2022 drug deal that led to a murder in Baton Rouge were arrested in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday. 

According to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, the men were tied to a shooting the night before Thanksgiving at the Willow Bend Lake apartment complex. Christopher Jamal Bennett-Smith was found dead outside of an apartment and two other people were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries that night. 

At the apartment, deputies found 30 pounds of marijuana, $7,500 in cash and several guns. 

Deputies said Cerion Hardeman, Juan Carlos Soto and Matthew Fatuesi drove from Washington to Baton Rouge with the intent to do a drug deal. 

Reports said Bennett-Smith and two other people went into the apartment and tried to rob the men from Washington. The groups shot at one another and Bennett-Smith died. 

U.S. Marshals apprehended the three men in Seattle and arrested them. Agents learned Juan Soto was also shot during the botched robbery and he was taken to a hospital for treatment. 

All three of the men were booked for first-degree murder, possession and distributing marijuana and illegal carrying of weapons with a controlled dangerous substance. Hardeman and Fatuesi were additionally charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

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