'Trail of money' leads deputies to arrest Edgewood homicide suspect

Death investigation launched at home on Martinez Drive

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist , Matt Petrillo - Reporter

EDGEWOOD, Fla. - Authorities followed a literal money trail Tuesday outside of a murder scene in Edgewood where they arrested a 20-year-old suspect.

Edgewood police and the Orange County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the home at 12:30 p.m. with report of a shooting on Martinez Drive near Holden Avenue.

Police said the victim, Avery Wheeler, 22, was wounded and taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he died.

Police arrested Allex Cuentas in the shooting death.

Deputies said they followed a trail of money from the victim's door to where Cuentas was found at a neighbors home, according to the arrest report.

Investigators also found a 9 mm shell casing near the shooting scene and marijuana in the victim's garage.

Detectives said they believe Wheeler was selling marijuana because the amount in the garage "was far more than personal use."

Deputies said they believe Cuentas was attempting to rob the victim, according to the arrest report.

"Although Avery Wheeler was killed by a person other than Allex Cuentas, he was a principal in the commission of the robbery as he organized it, and drove the suspect to the residence with the intent to commit the robbery," according to the Sheriff's Office.

Neighbors said they were shocked to hear about the shooting.

"I never heard of a home invasion in this area,”said a neighbor, who wished not to be identified. “I lived here 25 years.”

The neighbor told News 6 that authorities have not investigated a homicide there in more than a decade. 

Some neighbors said they blame renters for attracting crime into the neighborhood. 

"This neighborhood has been retirees and elderly people for years," a neighbor said. "Well kept yards, well kept houses, we never had any trouble like this. Never!" 

Edgewood police have not released the name of a second person of interest or if they are looking for a second person involved.

Cuentas is charged with first-degree felony murder. He was denied bond during a first appearance Wednesday in Orange County court and elected to have a public defender represent him.

The homicide investigation is still active.‚Äč

Copyright 2017 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.