Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Airman's Killers Arrested

Sunday, November 22, 2009 |


Mexican authorities arrested two suspects on the slaying of a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant earlier this month in a Juárez strip club.

The two "sicarios," or hit men, have confessed to being part of the Juárez cartel group "La Linea" and to have carried out several slayings, including those of Staff Sgt. David Booher and five other people at the Amadeus club, said Enrique Torres, Joint Operation Chihuahua spokesman, in a news release.


Authorities identified those arrested as José Gabriel "El 12" Moreno, 29, and Juan Pablo "El 14" González Favela, 19.

On Nov. 4, a group of gunmen entered and opened fire in the strip club on Ejercito Nacional Avenue. According to his friends, Booher got shot when he tried to help one of the wounded victims. Police found his body in a VIP section of the club.

Booher, 26, a medic, was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base . He was raised by his widowed mother in Juárez and his late father was a U.S. citizen.


Booher became the first active member in the U.S. military known to have been killed in Juárez since the war between drug cartels began in January 2008.

The suspects also confessed to the attack of the coordinator of the state public safety department, Luis Prieto, and his bodyguards last month and to the slayings of four Chihuahua state police officers Thursday in Juárez, officials said. The list below lists the activities (reported here) they confessed in participating:
  Torres said the suspects told police that their main duty was to kill people and to extort businesses, especially in the area of Juárez Avenue and Vicente Guerrero Street.
 

Moreno and González Favela told police they received orders from an individual known as "El 9", whose superior was identified as "El 8."

Apparently, the lower the number you are given, the higher you are on the cartel's hierarchy.

The suspects were captured by the Mexican army about 4 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Artemio Zúñiga and Paseo de los Compositores streets, in the Campanario neighborhood, after an anonymous call reported two suspicious men in a 1995 Nissan Maxima carrying weapons.

At that location, the army seized almost 20 pounds of marijuana with a street value of about $17,000, two automatic weapons, 100 bullets and the vehicle.

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