Slayings Were Murder-for-hire Involving Organized Crime

COLUMBIANA, Ala. (AP) - Sheriff's investigators say the killings of four men in Shelby County were part of a "murder-for-hire" scheme concocted by organized crime.

The findings were released Tuesday by Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry.

Investigators believe the killings were carried out by a drug organization after more than $400,000 in money turned up missing.

31-year-old Alejandros Castaneda, 25-year-old Juan Francisco Castaneda and 40-year-old Christopher Scott Jones, all of Birmingham, and 22-year-old Jaime Rodriguez of San Antonio were arrested Monday.

All were charged with two counts of capital murder. The four are
being held without bond in the Shelby County Jail.

Five males were found dead Wednesday night at an apartment complex off U.S. 280. According to investigators, each victim was electrocuted, beaten and their throats slashed.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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