The Juarez Drug Cartel’s leader in Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico, pleaded guilty Thursday in El Paso, Texas, and was sentenced to life in prison for his role in drug-trafficking and numerous acts of violence including the deaths of three people tied to the the U.S. Consulate in Mexico, the Justice Department said.
Jose Antonio Acosta-Hernandez, 34, aka “Diego,” “Dienton,” “Diez” and “Bablazo,” of Chihuahua, was extradited to the United States from Mexico on March 16. He pleaded guilty to four counts of racketeering, narcotics trafficking and money laundering.
He also pleaded also pleaded guilty to seven counts of murder and weapons charges, which specifically related to the March 13, 2010, triple homicide in Juarez of U.S. Consulate employee Leslie Enriquez, her husband Arthur Redelfs and Jorge Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of another U.S. Consulate employee.
Immediately after entering his plea, he was sentenced to to seven concurrent life terms, three additional consecutive life terms and 20 years in federal prison.
“As the leader of La Linea’s enforcement wing, Mr. Acosta-Hernandez directed a reign of terror,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said in a statement. “Today’s guilty plea and sentence are a significant step in our effort to bring to justice those responsible for the consulate murders, and it would not have been possible without the extraordinary assistance of our law enforcement partners in Mexico, including Attorney General Marisela Morales Ibáñez.