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Police: Suspect Arrested In Queens Brush Fire Murders

Police Also Announced Victims Had Plotted To Rob Drug Dealers
Firefighters battle a brush fire in Queens, apparently set to hide two bodies, on March 6, 2013. (credit: CBS 2)

Firefighters battle a brush fire in Queens, apparently set to hide two bodies, on March 6, 2013. (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police have arrested a Brooklyn man after authorities found the bodies of two men while battling a brush fire last week.

Rogelio Rodriguez, 34, of Brooklyn was arrested Tuesday evening on murder and other charges, police said.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the victims were bound and possibly gagged.

“My guess is they weren’t there very long because the fire was started apparently to cover up the crime,” he told CBS 2 last week.

Meantime, police said that the two victims were killed for trying to rob drug dealers.

The NYPD said Tuesday that detectives believe Brooklyn drug dealers shot and stabbed Rudy Superville, 22, and Gary Lopez, 25, after learning the duo planned to rob a dealer’s home.

Their fully clothed bodies were found around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, as firefighters battled a brush fire at 159th Avenue and 78th Street in Howard Beach.

The field of wild weeds is part of Spring Creek Park, the largest amount of undeveloped land and wetlands in the northern Jamaica Bay area with the Belt Parkway on one side and a bustling neighborhood on the other.

Crews found the bodies about ten feet away from the road.

Police said they believe that Superville entered the home of a drug dealer but was surprised to find his killers waiting. Police said he was then instructed to beckon Lopez into the home.

Both men were then beaten, stabbed and shot.

In addition to the murder charges, Rodriguez also faces charges of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal tampering, police announced.

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