Investigators: Granger homicide a set-up over drug deal gone bad

Investigators: Granger homicide a set-up over drug deal gone bad
Marcos Cruz Herrera, 46, Jaime Herrera, 24, and Hector Salvador Garcia-Ceja Jr., 24, are wanted on suspicion of first-degree murder in the April 12 shooting death of Joe A. Fuller on Cherry Hill Road in Granger.

Investigators believe the fatal shooting of 44-year-old Joe A. Fuller in Granger earlier this month was part of a set-up by Sureno gang members as revenge for a drug deal gone bad.

Multiple witnesses told police that Fuller had a falling out with 24-year-old Jaime Herrera over a drug deal, according to court documents filed by Yakima County sheriff’s deputies.

Deputies responded just before 7 a.m. on April 12 to reports of shots fired at 1681 Cherry Hill Road and found Fuller suffering from gunshot wounds inside his car, which had crashed into an irrigation canal.

Witnesses told police they’d seen text messages several days prior to the fatal shooting wherein Herrera threatened to kill Fuller, court documents said.

Early that morning, Herrera allegedly asked a female friend to order drugs from Fuller, according to court documents.

Witnesses told deputies Fuller was contacted by the woman — who asked to purchase two ounces of methamphetamine — and the two agreed to meet at the Granger Conoco gas station, just over two miles from where the shooting would take place.

The woman told police she had a friend drop her off at the gas station and Fuller picked her up — driving a 1998 gray Honda Accord, according to court documents.

Fuller and the woman were driving east toward Emerald Road to complete the deal when a dark-colored SUV approached from behind and rammed the side of the car, witnesses told police.

Deputies say the crash forced the car off the road and into an irrigation canal knee-deep with water along Cherry Hill Road.

The woman told deputies she heard rapid gunfire as she got out of the car and was helped out of the canal by a man with a handgun tucked into his waistband — later identified by deputies as 24-year-old Hector Silva Garcia-Ceja.

The woman got into the back seat of the SUV, where Herrera was sitting with a long gun on the seat between them; she told deputies Herrera’s 46-year-old father Marcos Cruz Herrera Jr. was driving when they dropped her off outside of Granger.

First-degree murder warrants were issued Friday for the arrest of Jaime Herrera, Marcos Cruz Herrera Jr. and Hector Silva Garcia-Ceja. Deputies say all three are documented Sureno gang members.

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