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The original item was published from 7/26/2016 3:54:00 PM to 7/27/2018 12:00:09 AM.

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Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: July 26, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Two men found guilty in drug cartel murder

TACOMA, WA – Late yesterday in Pierce County Superior Court Mazzar Robinson, 41, was found guilty of Murder in the First Degree, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Burglary, Attempted Robbery and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. Co-defendant Michael Rowland, 32, was found guilty of Murder in the First Degree, Burglary and Attempted Robbery.

This is a third strike conviction for Robinson. The case was tried by Deputy Prosecutor Zack Dillon and Drug Unit Team Chief Maureen Goodman.

"Good work on a big case," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "Drug dealing can be a hazardous business. Our streets are safer with these defendants in prison."

On November 12, 2012, police responded to a report of shots fired at the Greenwood Apartment complex in Lakewood. When officers arrived, they found the body of Jamie Diaz-Solis lying at the foot of the stairs outside his apartment.

Police found almost 38 pounds of methamphetamine and Heroin and $37,000 in cash in or around the crime scene.

Investigators learned that Diaz-Solis and his roommate, Juan Hidalgo-Mendoza, were part of a major drug distribution chain for a Mexican drug cartel.

Mr. Hidalgo-Mendoza told police he was in his bedroom when he heard a male's voice, and then heard a gunshot. He said he then jumped out of a window to avoid being shot. He returned to the apartment after the assailants had left, and dragged out the body of Mr. Diaz-Solis.

In February, 2013, investigators contacted another co-defendant, who is still awaiting trial, who confessed he had arranged for three men to kill Hidalgo-Mendoza. Apparently he thought he could climb the ladder of the distribution chain by arranging the murder of Hidalgo-Mendoza, a higher-up, and blaming the murder on another higher-up. The plan went awry when the wrong person, Mr. Diaz-Stolis, was shot and killed by Robinson.

Hidalgo-Mendoza was charged and convicted in Federal Court on drug charges. He is serving 15 years to life.

Four co-defendants pled guilty. Two have been sentenced. Two others are awaiting sentencing.

Robinson will be sentenced on 9/2/16 at 1:30. Rowland will be sentenced on 8/19//16 at 1:30.

For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].