PHOENIX -- Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the Thanksgiving Eve homicide of a Phoenix man.

The body of Erasmo Ledezma was found dumped in front of a business near Washington and 40th streets on Nov. 21.

Steven Anthony Benavidez is charged with conspiracy, murder, assisting a criminal syndicate, and weapons misconduct. He also faces drug-related charges.

In the days before Ledezma's murder, he had reportedly told his friends that the Mexican mafia was after him.

Police believe Benavidez and an alleged accomplice, Julio Carrizoza, forced Ledezma's friends to tell them where he was. Shortly after, Ledezma was found dead.

Police say he was shot to death, and suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Court documents say it's clear that the Mexican mafia conspired to have Ledezma killed because they believe he was a snitch.

A search of Benavidez's home turned up a handgun and a shotgun. He claimed he had them for protection.


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