Three men have been sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for a deadly drug-related home-invasion robbery, authorities said.
When Zarate realized he was being cheated out of money, the men shot him, authorities said. He was later found and pronounced dead at the scene, according to the district attorney.
During the trial, the prosecutor argued the men were part of a "drug rip-off crew." They would establish trust with a dealer by buying small amounts of drugs and then rob the dealers after requesting a larger amount using handguns, zip ties and sometimes security badges.
To make the purchase seem real, the trio would bring stacks of $1 bills with a larger bill on the outside to the location.