updated 9/10/2008 5:55:57 PM ET 2008-09-10T21:55:57

A fifth person has been arrested in the slayings of five men believed to be illegal immigrants from Mexico who were beaten, electrocuted and slashed in an alleged drug hit, authorities said Wednesday.

Another man also was charged with hindering prosecution, though he wasn't directly accused in the killings. Investigators have described the slayings as contract killings carried out by a drug ring over at least $400,000 in missing money.

With four men already jailed in the slayings, investigators said Derreck Renone Green, 32, of Birmingham was arrested Tuesday evening by federal agents and local police near Nashville, Tenn. He was jailed without bond on capital murder charges until he returns to Alabama.

Meanwhile, Marteze Terman Radford, 26, of Birmingham, was being held on $500,000 bond after being charged Tuesday with hindering prosecution in the case. Authorities did not return calls seeking details on the charge.

It was unknown Wednesday whether the two suspects had attorneys.

Men tortured
Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry said prosecuting the cases would tie up resources for years.

"The complexity and the far-reaching extent of this investigation have made it very unique for our sheriff's office," he said in a statement.

Curry has appealed to the Hispanic community for help in solving the killings, and officials offered rewards totaling $30,000. Curry has said the victims were illegal immigrants, apparently from Mexico.

The bodies of five men were found Aug. 20 inside an apartment off U.S. 280 in Shelby County. The men apparently were dead for about three days but weren't found until deputies responded to a call from someone who could not reach one of the victims.

Investigators said the men were bound with tape, beaten and shocked with an electrical current. Four of the victims had their throats slashed. Police haven't said whether the fifth victim's throat was cut.

Details of the slayings could emerge during a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 19.

Officers said they have seized numerous weapons during the investigation, as well as cocaine and methamphetamine.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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