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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, February 6, 2022

El Paso, Texas: 2 Barrio Azteca Gang Members Convicted In 2010 Murders Of 3 Linked To US Consulate

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

A federal jury Thursday convicted two members of the Barrio Azteca gang on all counts related to the murders of a U.S. Consulate employee, her husband and the husband of another U.S. Consulate employee, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

Jose "Zorro" Guadalupe Diaz Diaz, 43, and Martin "Popeye" Artin Perez Marrufo, 54, both from Chihuahua, Mexico, were found guilty in a 13-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone in federal court in El Paso.

Sentencing is set for May 9. Diaz and Maruffo face a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison.

Diaz was extradited from Mexico on Nov. 13, 2019, and Maruffo was extradited from Mexico on Jan. 18, 2020. The U.S. Justice Department said that the extraditions were the result of coordination between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement, who also cooperated in the investigation and prosecution of the case.

The jury found Diaz and Marrufo guilty of conspiracy counts for racketeering, narcotics trafficking, narcotics importation, money laundering and murder in a foreign country; three counts of murder in aid of racketeering; and three counts of murder resulting from use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking.

Evidence presented at trial showed that on March 13, 2010, Diaz and Marrufo were the gunmen in the hit teams that killed U.S. Consulate employee Leslie Enriquez, her husband, El Paso County Sheriff's Office Detention Officer Arthur Redelfs, and Jorge Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of another U.S. Consulate employee.

They were targeted after they were mistaken for rival gang members after leaving a child’s birthday party in Juárez. Diaz shot and killed Enriquez and Redelfs; Marrufo shot and killed Ceniceros.

“The murders of Leslie Enriquez, Arthur Redelfs, and Jorge Salcido Ceniceros are a tragedy,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a news release. “These convictions demonstrate the department’s commitment to combating violent transnational criminal organizations. I want to thank the Mexican government for its cooperation including extraditing both defendants to the United States to face criminal charges.”

U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff for the Western District of Texas said: “Although 12 years have passed since these senseless murders, our office has only strengthened its resolve to seek justice for victims of cartel violence. These guilty verdicts demonstrate the diligent pursuit of our prosecutors and our commitment to protecting communities from ruthless brutality.”

Barrio Azteca is a transnational prison and street gang engaged in money-laundering, racketeering and drug-related activities in the El Paso-Juárez region.

In 2010, the gang was allied with the Juárez cartel to battle the Sinaloa cartel, at the time headed by Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, and its allies for control of drug trafficking routes through Juárez.

The territory, referred to as the Juárez Plaza, is important to drug trafficking organizations because it is a principal illicit smuggling route into the United States.

Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division added: "These convictions represent the FBI’s commitment to take aggressive action against anyone who takes the lives of innocent American citizens. Even the most ruthless criminals, whether here or afar, cannot evade justice, and we will continue to hold those accountable who commit brutal acts of violence."

A total of 35 defendants were charged on various criminal acts, including the 2010 Juárez Consulate murders as well as racketeering, drug distribution and smuggling, retaliation against persons providing information to U.S. law enforcement, extortion, money laundering, murder and obstruction of justice.

Of the 35 defendants charged, all have been arrested and 28 have pleaded guilty. One was convicted by trial, one committed suicide before the conclusion of his trial and three are awaiting extradition from Mexico.

"Today’s convictions serve as a stark warning to all drug traffickers that we will pursue and prosecute any and all who compromise the safety and health of Americans and those who support our U.S missions abroad,"” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. "The hardworking women and men of DEA will continue to work with our domestic and global partners to rid our communities of the intimidation, violence, and drug abuse these criminal drug networks inflict."

El Paso Times


  1. And all else is worthless I suppose.
    All lives matters.

  2. "Today’s convictions serve as a stark warning to all drug traffickers that we will pursue and prosecute any and all who compromise the safety and health of Americans and those who support our U.S missions abroad" ... yeah sure gringos!

    Chupa la verga mientras las toneladas siiiiiegen por la frontera!

  3. Would you say that to them in their face ? Tough guy?

  4. You guys ain't got crap in Texas?!

  5. You guys never fail to amaze me por ESO estamos.como.estamos.especially in politics.

  6. Go ride around showing off your stolen truck stolen from the USA side listening to your crappy narco Corridos songs.get a life.

  7. Unkown send your the only one commenting, even answering your own comments. Talk about having all the free time, while most of us work


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