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PHOENIX — In a plot twist worthy of a Law & Order  TV episode, the father of the man accused of being Phoenix’s “Serial Street Shooter” is a celebrity in the Mexican music world. 

José Juan Segura is a well-known music producer and musician who specializes in narcocorridos, a genre from northern Mexico that chronicles — some say glamorizes — Mexican drug cartels. 

His son, Aaron Saucedo, has been charged in one murder and police say he is responsible for eight others, which terrorized neighborhoods in Phoenix in 2016. Police do not suspect Segura had anything to do with the crimes, describing him as the “father of a troubled kid.” 

Segura could not be reached for comment. 

Segura is known as the manager of a Phoenix-based band called Los Cuates de Sinaloa,  who appeared in the TV series Breaking Bad. In an interview published by the show’s cable channel, AMC, Segura said, “A corrido is a musical story taken from real life.”

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Segura also records and performs under the name El JJ and  El Padrino, which means “Godfather.”

He is a regular at local events and concerts. 

“When he does concerts and event work, he’s a really nice guy,” said Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski, who knows Segura through his own day job with Radio Campesina.

But Nowakowski also said that the station has a policy of not playing narcocorrido music.

“A lot of his songs we can’t play on our station,” he said.


Surviving a 2011 shooting 

Indeed, Segura’s music videos are full of guns and scantily clad women, drugs, alcohol and hard-core partying, as is common to the genre. In one Facebook photo, for example, Segura has two pistols tucked into his belt, a third pistol in one hand and an automatic weapon in the other.

Much has been written in the international press about the link between narcocorridos and violence. In 2011, Segura wound up in the middle of it.

He was gunned down in Sinaloa, Mexico, as he was driving from a party. The car crashed and Segura suffered at least four bullet wounds, but he recovered. He later told a national reporter for Univision, a Spanish-language television network, that he was shot in a case of mistaken identity.

Despite the hard-partying images of his music videos, and the Robin-Hood glamour of narcocorridos, Segura has no apparent criminal record himself. 

Neither did his son — until now. 

Police and prosecutors believe that Saucedo, 23, committed nine murders over 12 shootings from August 2015 to July 2016. Most of the shootings took place in the Maryvale neighborhood of west Phoenix. Others were in east-central Phoenix. The victims all were black females or young Hispanic men.

Saucedo is charged with one murder. Police have submitted charges for eight more murders, as well as other charges that include attempted murder, aggravated assault and drive-by shooting.

Saucedo, in a court appearance, professed his innocence. So far, he and other relatives have declined to comment.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Wednesday morning that the matter of charges was still under review. 


Another brush with police

Segura’s music business was at issue another time a family member crossed paths with police. 

Saucedo’s older brother, Orlando, was involved in an April 2008 traffic stop that resulted in a forfeiture of more than $36,000 and a vehicle. He was not charged in the incident. 

An Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper pulled over a late-model SUV on Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak. Inside were two nervous young Hispanic men, according to the trooper’s report. 

The trooper searched the vehicle and found two pistols under the seats and $36,100 in cash in a box on the floor. The vehicle’s plates and vehicle identification number didn’t seem to belong together and the trooper thought the SUV might be stolen. According to the report, the driver, Orlando Saucedo, had neither a driver’s license nor the vehicle’s registration.


Phoenix ‘Serial Street Shootings’

Orlando Saucedo told the trooper that the SUV belonged to his father’s wife at the time (who is not his mother), and he didn’t explain the money — at least not according to the DPS report. The trooper confiscated both.

Later, in court paperwork trying to recover the SUV and the money, an attorney for Orlando Saucedo claimed that the money belonged to a record company and music promotion business co-owned by Orlando and his father, who was not named in the paperwork.

According to the court filing, the money was the gate proceeds from a show they produced in Tucson. 

Orlando Saucedo declined to comment when an Arizona Republic reporter called.

When The Republic contacted the now-ex-wife, she confirmed that the money was taken, but would not comment further.

However, Phoenix police confirmed that Segura is Aaron Saucedo’s father, and said he had nothing to do with the “Serial Street Shooter” crimes. 

“He’s not a suspect,” said Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard. “I think he’s the father of a troubled kid, is the easiest way to say it. But I don’t think he’s involved in any crimes.”

Court records also state that Segura took a handgun away from Aaron Saucedo “for safety concerns,” and it was turned over to police as evidence in late April.

As for the arrest of Aaron Saucedo and his connection to Segura, Nowakowski said, “I’m shocked. You know how hard I’ve been working to get this guy.”

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families,” he said.

Contributing: Lindsey Collom, Robert Anglen and Kaila White, The Arizona Republic. Follow Michael Kiefer on Twitter: @michaelbkiefer