Charges: Mountlake Terrace man was paid $5,000 for Ebey Island slaying

Selvin Rosales Sevilla is a suspect in Kevin Nieto Mejia’s death in February. Prosecutors charged him in a murder-for-hire sting.

Everett

EVERETT — A Mountlake Terrace man suspected of a February homicide near Everett was charged last week in a separate murder-for-hire sting.

Initially, Kevin Nieto Mejia, 29, came to Seattle from Oregon with two other men for one purpose: Buy fentanyl pills. But during the trip, his mission evolved. To satisfy a debt to two Mexican drug cartels, he needed to kill someone in the Seattle area, according to court documents.

But Nieto Mejia couldn’t find the woman he was supposed to kill. He reportedly let a cartel member know of his failure who then told him to meet at a Cherry Street address on Ebey Island on Feb. 27.

At first, Nieto Mejia and his two associates mistakenly went to a Cherry Street address in Seattle, according to charges filed Friday in Snohomish County Superior Court. Meanwhile, a gold Chevy Tahoe and a black BMW waited on Ebey Island.

When the trio eventually arrived, a man in the black BMW met them. Nieto Mejia reportedly got in the BMW. It drove away. Soon after, a gold Chevy Tahoe sped by.

After waiting for a few minutes, the two men Nieto Mejia arrived with got nervous. So they drove down the road looking for him. They found him shot dead in the 5800 block of 12th Street SE. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office determined he died of gunshot wounds to the head and torso, according to court papers.

Detectives found the gold Chevy Tahoe belonged to Selvin Rosales Sevilla, 28. But Snohomish County prosecutors didn’t charge him with Nieto Mejia’s death. Instead, he’s alleged to have taken part in a murder-for-hire ruse set up by police.

On April 6, a federal agent reportedly contacted local detectives. He had an informant who claimed involvement with the Ebey Island homicide. He could point out where Nieto Mejia was killed and referred to the gold Chevy Tahoe.

The next day, he identified the suspect as Rosales Sevilla, who had told the informant, while driving over the U.S. 2 trestle a month earlier, he’d been involved with a killing on Ebey Island, according to the charges. He said someone named “El Pelon” owned the BMW connected to the shooting. And Rosales Sevilla reportedly said he’d been involved with a slaying last year at a Seattle nightclub. Bullet casings found on Ebey Island matched those recovered from the nightclub.

And in a later conversation, Rosales Sevilla said he’d kill again for money, prosecutors allege.

So the informant told Rosales Sevilla he knew a woman who wanted her husband killed. But in reality, that woman was an undercover detective, according to court documents.

That detective met with Rosales Sevilla twice. The informant served as a translator. At the first meeting April 29, she told the suspect she wanted her fictitious husband killed over a custody dispute. She gave him $500. She said she’d give another $500 at the second meeting and $3,000 after the job was finished. Rosales Sevilla reportedly confirmed he’d killed before and would take the money.

The informant told investigators Rosales Sevilla had been paid $5,000 for Nieto Mejia’s slaying, including a $1,000 bonus, according to the charges filed by deputy prosecutor Matt Hunter.

On May 24, the undercover detective and the defendant met for a second time. Rosales Sevilla said he was ready to do the job that night, according to court papers. The detective said her husband was out of town. But she gave him the second $500 and a photo of the husband.

From the meeting, the three went to the husband’s work to show Rosales Sevilla where to kill him in the parking lot. The informant drove Rosales Sevilla and the detective went separately.

They found her husband’s parking spot and left. The informant drove Rosales Sevilla to a nearby gas station, where police arrested him. Officers found two guns in the car, including a Glock 17 with tape on the grip believed to be used to kill Nieto Mejia, according to the charges. That gun was reported stolen in August 2021.

In a police interview, the suspect said he knew nothing about the Ebey Island homicide, but acknowledged the Tahoe seen nearby was likely his. Initially, he also denied involvement in the murder-for-hire scheme. But he later conceded he met with the detective, accepted money and had gone to her husband’s work that night. Still, he denied planning to kill anyone.

Prosecutors charged Rosales Sevilla with conspiracy to commit first degree murder. He has no prior felony convictions and one misdemeanor violation from last year for aiming or discharging a firearm in King County, according to court records.

Since his late May arrest, Rosales Sevilla has been in custody at the Snohomish County Jail with bail set at $5 million.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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