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Suspected illegal immigrant stole 3 kilos drugs before York Co. killing, officials say

Suspect in shooting who ‘hunted’ and killed man accused of stealing drugs denied bond

A suspect in a November 2017 York County killing who "hunted" a man accused of stealing three kilograms of cocaine, faced a judge Tuesday in York County during a bond hearing. Judge Bill McKinnon denied bond Jerry Roderick Cousar.
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A suspect in a November 2017 York County killing who "hunted" a man accused of stealing three kilograms of cocaine, faced a judge Tuesday in York County during a bond hearing. Judge Bill McKinnon denied bond Jerry Roderick Cousar.

A man suspected of being in the U.S. illegally and stealing drugs that led to a York County killing in 2017 has been brought back to South Carolina to face trafficking charges, police and prosecutors said.

Isaac Felipe “Cuba” Asteri, 61, of Homestead, Fla., was served warrants late Tuesday for trafficking more than 3,000 grams of drugs after he was extradited back to South Carolina, said Trent Faris, spokesman for the York County Sheriff’s office.

Angel Carmindo Dominguez Vega, 23, was shot and died in November 2017 after the theft of about three kilos of marijuana and cocaine near Will Jones Circle, said 16th Circuit Deputy Solicitor Willy Thompson.

Asteri stole the drugs then fled, Thompson said.

Two men were charged with killing Vega in the Catawba area, southeast of Rock Hill.

In a January bond hearing for accused killer Jerry Roderick Cousar, Thompson said Vega was killed after the drug theft. The drugs had come in the mail from California, Thompson said.

Cousar, 43, and Trenyatta Jondae Massey, 19, were both charged with murder, cocaine trafficking and other charges, according to prosecutors and court records. Cousar is accused of being the shooter and was working for Massey to hunt down the thief, prosecutors said in court hearings

Asteri called Charlotte police after the theft and said his life was being threatened, Thompson said. Asteri was arrested in Charlotte and the drugs were seized and tested, Thompson said.

Asteri was taken from the Mecklenburg County jail to Florida in November 2017 on pending state charges in Florida, Thompson said. Asteri now will face the drug trafficking charge in South Carolina, Thompson said.

A conviction for cocaine trafficking for an amount over 400 grams carries a mandatory 25 to 30 years in prison under South Carolina law.

Asteri also is being held at the York County jail under a hold by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. An ICE detainer means a person is being held on suspicion he is a foreign national and is subject to removal from the country, according to ICE.

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson participates in the ICE 287g program that checks the immigration status of people who are charged and jailed.

Cousar is scheduled for court Thursday in York.

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