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Hitman murdered journalist as a “birthday present” for the boss of a gang tied to El Chapo

Hitman murdered journalist as a ‘birthday present’ for the boss of a gang linked to El Chapo’s old Sinaloa cartel

  • Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa was found guilty of murdering journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea in March 2017
  • Moreno Ochoa, also known as ‘El Larry’, shot Breach Velducea eight times in her car at her home in Chihuahua, Mexico
  • He executed the 54-year-old as a birthday present for the famous drug dealer Crispin Salazar, a lieutenant from El Chapo
  • Breach Velducea drew Los Salazars’ anger at investigative stories that exposed the gang’s funding of local politicians and other criminal acts
  • Moreno Ochoa reportedly led a group of sicarios for Los Salazar, a hit group tied to El Chapo’s old Sinaloa cartel
  • A judge will sentence Moreno Ochoa on April 20

The alleged leader of a Mexican murder team has been found guilty of murdering a journalist as a “birthday present” for the head of a notorious drug gang.

Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa followed Miroslava Breach Velducea to her Chihuahua home on March 23, 2017 and shot her eight times in her SUV.

Moreno Ochoa bragged that he executed Breach Velducea as a birthday present for one of the bosses of the Los Salazar gang, Jesus Alfredo Salazar, who was in prison at the time of the murder.

Prosecutors said Breach Velducea drew Los Salazars’ anger over investigative stories that exposed the gang’s funding of local politicians and other criminal acts.

Miroslava Breach Velducea (pictured) was executed in front of her home in Chihuahua, Mexico on March 27 by Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa, the leader of an assassin squad linked to the old El Chapo cartel. A federal court judge found Morena Ochoa guilty last week

Miroslava Breach Velducea (pictured) was executed in front of her home in Chihuahua, Mexico on March 27 by Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa, the leader of an assassin squad linked to the old El Chapo cartel. A federal court judge convicted Morena Ochoa last week

Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa led a squad of assassins from Los Salazar, a gang known to have performed some of the deadliest hits for El Chapo's old cartel

Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa led a squad of assassins from Los Salazar, a gang known to have performed some of the deadliest hits for El Chapo's old cartel

Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa led a squad of assassins from Los Salazar, a gang known to have performed some of the deadliest hits for El Chapo’s old cartel

Moreno Ochoa, also known as ‘El Larry’, was convicted on the basis of testimony from a trial in the trial of a man identified in court documents as ‘Apolo’, the son of Crispin Salazar, a lieutenant of Joaquín. “El Chapo” Guzmán and whose brother founded Los Salazar.

The criminal faction is known to have performed some of the deadliest hits ordered by El Chapo’s old Sinaloa cartel.

Apolo told prosecutors that Moreno Ochoa Crispin Salazar confessed to the murder at an annual birthday party for his cousin, Jesus Alfredo Salazar, who was arrested in 2012.

Breach Velducea, 54 years old at the time of her murder, was a correspondent for La Jornada newspaper. She also enjoyed a long career with Norte, a local newspaper in Ciudad Juárez.

Surveillance camera captured Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa walking near the killing scene after killing Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea on March 23, 2017

Surveillance camera captured Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa walking near the killing scene after killing Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea on March 23, 2017

Surveillance camera captured Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa walking near the killing scene after killing Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea on March 23, 2017

Investigators were looking for area cameras, including one that positively identified Moreno Ochoa as the killer and the car he drove the morning of the murder.

Authorities arrested him on Christmas Day 2017 during an early morning raid on the town of Sonora in Etchojoa.

Moreno Ochoa will be sentenced on April 20. The Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression has recommended that the judge send him away for at least 70 years.

Advocacy Group Reporters Without Borders calls Mexico the most dangerous country for journalists.

Miroslava Breach Velducea was murdered on March 23, 2017 outside her home in the northeastern city of Chihuahua.

Miroslava Breach Velducea was murdered on March 23, 2017 outside her home in the northeastern city of Chihuahua.

Miroslava Breach Velducea was murdered on March 23, 2017 outside her home in the northeastern city of Chihuahua.

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