Memphis men charged after $25k drug deal gone wrong

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two men are behind bars after being charged with facilitation of murder in the process of committing a robbery. Prentis Cauthen and Prentez Baines are charged in the death of Joseph Buckley III after the victim tried to buy $25,000 of marijuana.

According to text messages recovered by police, Buckley intended on coming to Memphis from Newton, Mississippi to purchase a large amount of marijuana from Prentez Baines. Police noted while on his way into town, Buckley was given a pin location to meet.

Talking to each other on the phone, Baines signaled to Buckley from a red Dodge Challenger to pull over onto a side street. Baines told Buckley to wait until he sent a new pin location to pick up the drugs. Baines then told Buckley that his younger brother would escort him inside the building.

Buckley approached the location on Havana Street with the $25,000 inside a Fendi bag. The two passed a large dumpster outside the building. As soon as Cauthen walked past the dumpster, shots rang out.  

Buckley was hit multiple times. When police arrived, he was unresponsive, and the Fenti bag with $25,000 was missing.

A witness managed to identify Baines from a six-person lineup, confirming that Buckley was communicating via text with him.  Baines and Cauthen are currently in police custody. Their bail is set at $250,000 each.

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