SALEM — Two men wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of a Salem man during a Malden drug deal that went south back in March have been arrested in Los Angeles, officials announced.  

In a joint statement, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Malden police Chief Kevin Molis say Yahia Mastouri, 18, and Josue Espada, 20, both of Malden, who were being sought in connection with the March 2 shooting of Jeury Batista, 23, of Salem, are currently in custody in California.

A rendition hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.

Officials say that the pair will be brought back to Massachusetts to face charges, whether through a waiver of rendition or through other legal process.

They would then be arraigned on the charges. Mastouri has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, assault with intent to rob and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Espada has been charged with being an accessory after the fact.

Earlier this month Malden and state police learned from the United States Marshals that police in Los Angeles had encountered the pair during an unrelated criminal investigation.

After further investigation to confirm their identities, authorities arrested the pair on May 11 at a motel. 

The March shooting had occurred near the Bowdoin Apartments, an apartment complex off Route 60 in Malden. 

Batista was a Salem High graduate who attended North Shore Community College.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.