Suspects plead not guilty to murder of APD informant
Two men indicted on murder charges in the death of an Anchorage Police Department confidential informant entered not guilty pleas Friday.
The body of David Cargill was discovered on Oct. 17 in the area of the Eklutna Power Plant. The 35-year-old had multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body.
The suspects charged in the investigation are 38-year-old Marquis Eloi and 30-year-old Scotty Mataia. Both face multiple charges, including first-degree murder, according to APD.
Eloi and Mataia are currently in custody, each with bail set at $100,000 cash for the homicide case.
Cargill was killed just days after evidence of undercover drug buys was turned over to a suspect's defense attorney. Little information was made public about the circumstances surrounding his death until federal charges were filed in a connected case last month.
A complaint document signed by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent J.R. Crump lays out a months-long drug investigation by APD's VICE Unit that resulted in federal drug and weapons charges for Eloi and Mataia.
According to the federal complaint, Cargill completed five undercover buys for APD at a local auto body shop during the months of June, July and August, often recording video and audio the exchanges. He purchased methamphetamine, cocaine, opioids and a loaded, stolen gun.
In a Sept. 6 raid, APD executed a search warrant at the business on East 66th Avenue and seized 22 firearms, more than $70,000 in cash, an apparent "drug ledger" and scales and packaging materials.
Eloi was arrested on nine felony drug and weapons charges. According to the document, he was experiencing health issues and was taken to a local hospital. Once discharged on Sept. 13, he was booked into jail, but posted bail and was released the same day.
On Oct. 11, Eloi's defense attorney received discovery materials in the state case against him, including the recordings made by Cargill. By Oct. 16, Cargill's mother reported him missing, telling authorities he was last seen on Oct. 14.
According to the charging document, materials found at the site of the body matched items seen at the business on 66th Avenue, including FastLine brand commercial grade automotive masking film and blue painter's tap.
During a second search of the business on Oct. 19, the document says when APD showed Mataia a photo of APD's "Confidential Informant 18-3," Mataia said the person in the photo was the person "who told on us." Police interviewed witnesses who reported seeing Cargill go behind the business with Eloi and Mataia on Oct. 14, then heard a scream and a single gunshot.
Debbie Cargill, David's mother, blames Senate Bill 91 for the fact that Eloi was out on bail at the time of her son's murder, and has publicly criticized authorities involved for not telling David that his identity had been compromised.
"We never got a heads up or warning that the discovery was in the mix, that they knew who he was and saw films and everything else of him," Debbie said.
In an emailed statement from Oct. 31, APD communications director MJ Thim said:
"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the victim's family during this tragic time. We take the safety of everyone cooperating with our investigations very seriously. We rigorously follow all the appropriate policies and procedures when it comes to confidential informants. Any further discussion of these policies and procedures will jeopardize and compromise the safety of those involved."
The Office of Special Prosecutions is pursing state charges against Eloi and Mataia.
The State Department of Law previously said in a statement that David was aware of the risks:
"First and foremost, any death is tragic. For obvious reasons, we cannot speak to the particular facts of this case, nor will we describe the specific procedures or protocols employed by law enforcement when working with a cooperating witness. To do otherwise could jeopardize witnesses' safety. That said, as a general matter, cooperating witnesses are informed of potential dangers that might exist in any given case and are also advised to take precautions regarding their personal safety. Cooperating witnesses are also informed that it is highly unlikely that their identity will remain confidential because an accused has a constitutional right to confront and cross-examine witnesses against them."
"Well, I don't know what their protocol is, but if I was a confidential informant and I knew that I wasn't gonna be told that my picture was gonna be sent all over to the defendant, I wouldn't be a confidential informant," Debbie said. "Now we knew it was gonna happen, but we were also under the impression that they were gonna tell us before it happened so we would know."
She went to the arraignments Friday with hopes of speaking on the record during the proceedings but was not given the opportunity.
"I wanted to let the judge know that $100,000 bail is not right for a cold-blooded murderer," she said.
Judge Michael Wolverton said she could ask the state to schedule a bail review hearing.
Debbie said she will attend every court hearing the suspects are required to be at and will push for justice for her son.
"I want to see 'em rot in hell. I want to see them in jail, in misery," she said.
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