EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Three gunmen from the Barrio Azteca gang were sentenced Monday to life in prison for killing a US consulate employee, her husband and the husband of another consulate employee in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, officials said.
The three had all been found guilty by a federal jury in February of the fatal shootings in March 2010 of consulate officer Lesley Enriquez, her husband Arthur Redelfs, an El Paso County jailer, and Jorge Salcido Ceniceros. All three were sentenced Monday in El Paso, according to a statement from the US Attorney General.
The victims were returning home from a children’s birthday party when they were accidentally attacked and killed.
Trial evidence showed that Jose Guadalupe Diaz Diaz and Martin Artin Perez Marrufo, both from Chihuahua, Mexico, served as the heat team that killed the three on March 13, 2010, after being mistaken for members of a rival gang, according to the statement from the US Attorney’s office.
According to the same statement, “Barrio Azteca is a transnational criminal organization engaged in, among other things, money laundering, extortion and drug-related activities in, among others, El Paso, Texas.”
The gang joined other drug gangs in fighting the Sinaloa cartel, then led by Joaquín “Chapo” Guzman, and its allies for control of Juarez’s drug trafficking routes, the statement said.
The drug routes through Juarez, which crosses the border from El Paso, are important to drug trafficking organizations because it is a major illicit drug route into the United States, federal officials said.
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