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Man, 19, pleads guilty in drug trafficker’s Missouri killing

HALLTOWN, Mo. (AP) _ A 19-year-old has pleaded guilty in the ambush killing of a drug trafficker in southwest Missouri.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Nathaniel Lee, of Nixa, admitted Monday to using a firearm to commit a drug trafficking crime resulting in murder and to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. The plea deal could allow Lee to avoid a life sentence.

He was among five people facing federal charges in the April 2016 killing of 24-year-old Oscar Martinez-Gaxiola. A sixth suspect faces state charges. Prosecutors say Martinez and one of the suspects, Yovanny Aroldo Mendivil-Balderrama, were involved in a New Mexico drug trafficking organization.

Prosecutors say Mendivil-Balderrama worked out an arrangement with a female suspect to kill Martinez so she would get more time to pay a drug debt. Lee agreed to help.
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Information from: Springfield News-Leader