BALTIMORE (TCD) -- Federal agents arrested a man they believe held a California drug dealer hostage, then shot and set him on fire in May.
On May 8, Baltimore Police said Southwest District patrol officers were dispatched to the 300 block of Furrow Street at 7:21 p.m. to assist fire department officials. The fire department was called to extinguish flames in an apparent vacant dwelling, but they reportedly found a body inside the residence when the blaze died down. The victim reportedly had suffered gunshot wounds.
According to WJZ-TV, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Ziyon "Fats" Thompson in connection with Soto’s death. The warrant cited by WJZ alleges Diaz was a drug trafficker from California who came to Baltimore to work on marijuana deliveries in the city. Diaz was reportedly negotiating a deal with Thompson when Thompson allegedly held him hostage for $50,000 and 200 pounds of weed.
Thompson was reportedly booked on charges of interference with interstate commerce by extortion, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
A witness, and one of Diaz’s alleged associates, reportedly received a FaceTime call from Thompson demanding the money and showing Diaz zip-tied to a chair with duct tape over his mouth. Thompson allegedly used a burner phone to send the associate another photo of Diaz.
According to WJZ, an ATF agent reportedly wrote in the warrant, "I believe that Thompson pre-planned the abduction and robbery of Soto-Diaz as evidenced by his purchase of what he believed to be a phone number that could not be traced back to him."
Baltimore Police said they are offering up to $8,000 in reward money for tips about the case.