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A man charged in a fatal shooting last month was a confidential informant for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration at the time of the killing, a new court document suggests.
Dakota Cox, 27, exchanged text messages with a DEA agent the day of the killing, threatening to “quit the cops” and stating his intention to kill a man who had beat and robbed him the day before.
DEA spokesman Carlos Briano declined comment, saying he could not discuss an ongoing investigation.
Cox and Antonio Cordova, 24, each were charged last week with murder in the shooting death of Joshua Beeman, 37, in an alley behind a Central Avenue motel. Arrest warrants were issued for both men on June 23.
A district court judge on Wednesday ordered Cordova held in jail pending trial.
Cox remains at large and is negotiating his surrender through the Law Offices of the Public Defender.
“When Mr. Cox learned of the warrant in this case, he came to the Public Defenders Office to qualify for our services and to address the case and the warrant,” a public defender wrote in a motion filed Monday. Cox is seeking a first appearance by video. A judge had not ruled on the motion as of Friday.
Mesa Lindren, the attorney who filed the motion, declined additional comment.
Police allege that Cox and Cordova chased Beeman through the alley with guns in the moments before he was fatally shot, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
Cox was seeking revenge on Beeman, who beat and robbed Cox the previous day at the Travelodge in the 600 block of Paisano NE, the complaint said.
Cox called 911 on June 14 and told police that a man he knew as “Demon” had grabbed Cox’s pistol out of its holster and struck him over the head, then stole his wallet.
Cox, who had blood on his arms and clothes, told police that “Demon held a revolver to the back of his head, said he would kill him, and then took his personal effects,” the complaint said.
On June 15 – the day of Beeman’s killing – Cox exchanged a series of text messages with DEA Agent Emmit Fritz, who provided the messages to the Albuquerque Police Department after Beeman’s death.
Officers included the texts verbatim in an affidavit seeking a warrant for Cox’s arrest.
“Demon split my head open and stole all my stuff bus they thought I was as I was a snitch,” Cox texted the agent. “I quit. Working for you they just tried killing me for being a rat.”
Fritz first responded to Cox in a text at 8:28 a.m. June 15.
“Call me when you wake up and tell me what happened,” Fritz wrote. “I’m sorry I didn’t have my phone on me last night.”
Cox and Fritz exchanged a series of texts shortly before 3 p.m. June 15 in which the agent encouraged Cox to “do your paperwork,” apparently in connection with an investigation.
Cox responded that Albuquerque police hadn’t helped him press charges or get back his wallet.
“He sells dope and everything bro I’m going to kill him I’m not signing up,” Cox replied. When the agent again pressed Cox to complete “paperwork,” Cox responded, “Not until I handle this dude period.”
Police alleged that Beeman was fatally shot around 8 p.m. that evening. An autopsy found that Beeman died of multiple gunshots to both legs, his side, hand and buttocks.
After his June 14 confrontation with Cox, Beeman had moved to the Lazy H Motel at 5601 Central NE where he was staying the day he was killed, a witness told police. The witness, an acquaintance of Beeman’s, said Beeman had asked her for a ride to the Lazy H Motel “due to an argument he got into with another male” at the Travelodge, the complaint said.
The witness told police she and Beeman exited the Lazy H Motel and were standing next to a furniture store when they were approached by a group of four or five people.
As the group approached, somebody yelled “there’s Beeman” and began shooting. The witness said she could hear Beeman shouting “no, no, no,” but the gunfire continued.
Another witness who saw the attack from Central Avenue said the victim was yelling “no don’t please don’t I’m sorry I’m sorry,” the complaint said.
Investigators found 13 9mm shell casings at the scene.
Cordova later told police in an interview that on June 15, he met with Cox, who was upset because he had been beaten and robbed the previous day.
“Antonio (Cordova) described Dakota (Cox) as being very agitated at the fact he was robbed by Demon,” according to a criminal complaint.
Cordova told police that he and Cox began walking through an alley in the 5500 block of Central Avenue NE when they spotted Beeman, and Cox yelled “there he is,” the complaint said.
The two men began chasing Beeman as Cox fired at Beeman, who collapsed in the alley, it said. “Antonio said Dakota had a 9mm compact Taurus handgun that he ’emptied’ as he fired shots at Demon,” he told police.
Cordova told police he was armed with a shotgun but didn’t fire at Beeman. During the pursuit, Beeman grabbed the shotgun from Cordova, he told police. After the shooting, Cordova picked up the shotgun and he and Cox ran north through the alley, got into Cox’s white Audi and drove away.