In May, a man now identified as Gary Escareno, aged 46 was found shot in the head in his vehicle in the Northeast Heights near Taco Bell, and now police have arrested three individuals for this alleged murder-for-hire killing.
Martin Trujillo, 45, ordered the hit on Escareno, who had a falling out over a rental assistance scheme gone bad when Trujillo refused to pay Escareno; Escarena later robbed Trujillo for his share.
Detectives were able to determine from text messages and witnesses that Trujillo paid gang member Freddy Granger to kill Escareno. Granger, age 41, and Cassandra Dominguez, 37, met up with Escareno on May 1 at an Albuquerque Taco Bell, then drove to the 2900 block of Tahiti St and Morenci Ave. NE sometime after 10 p.m. Granger allegedly shot Escareno in the head, and the vehicle crashed into a light pole.
Dominguez then sent a text to Trujillo at 11:10 p.m. saying, “Done deed, and at 11:54 Trujillo responded asking for their cash app info. At 12:25 a.m., Granger responded to Trujillo saying, “Money landed TY.”
An acquaintance of Trujillo and Escareno told detectives that Trujillo paid Granger $15,000 in the form of a vehicle, 100 Fentanyl pills, one pound of methamphetamine and cash. ATF agents took Granger and Dominguez into custody July 8 on separate charges and recovered the gun used during their arrest.
Trujillo is now charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder, while Granger and Dominguez are both being charged with an open count of murder.