A Long Beach man is among three Southern California residents accused of luring two marijuana dealers to a fake sale in 2021 and then killing one of them, according to federal prosecutors.
Mateo Paul, 21, of Long Beach, was arrested on Nov. 13 and has since pleaded not guilty to two federal counts of robbery, along with carrying and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence that resulted in the murder of a person, according to court records. Leandrew Raglin, 23 of Lancaster, and Iysis Elanore Smith of Inglewood have also pleaded not guilty to the same crimes, records show.
According to an indictment filed in September in U.S. District Court, Paul, Raglin and Smith met in Inglewood on March 15, 2021, with a plan to arrange meetings with marijuana dealers under the pretext of buying drugs and then rob them instead.
While hatching up the plan, Paul and Raglin discussed using a firearm in the robbery if the dealer refused to surrender the marijuana, prosecutors allege.
Once they lured the two dealers to the location, Smith approached their vehicle on foot and distracted them by pretending to inspect the drugs, officials said. Meanwhile, Paul parked behind the dealer’s car, the indictment says.
That’s when Raglin got out of the car Paul was driving, approached the dealer’s car, and opened fire on the person sitting in the passenger seat, authorities allege.
He’s accused of then walking around to the other side and shooting the driver. The person in the passenger seat survived but the driver died from his injuries, officials said.
Raglin then stole the marijuana that had been dropped around the dealer’s car and ran away from the scene with Smith while Paul drove off, officials allege.
The next day, they divided the marijuana amongst each other and smoked some of it, according to the indictment.
Smith’s trial is scheduled to begin later this month, while Raglin’s is scheduled for Dec. 26, officials said. Paul’s trial is scheduled to start early next year on Jan. 9, officials said.
If convicted, each defendant could face a maximum sentence of life in federal prison, officials said.