‘Enforcer’ For Violent Mexican Drug Cartel Faces Life Sentence

The self described enforcer for a violent Juarez, Mexico, drug cartel has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, racketeering and murder charges that could send him away for the rest of his life.

Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez acknowledged directing or participating in more than 1,500 murders since 2008. That includes notorious killings two years ago of U.S. consulate workers as they left a birthday party in broad daylight. Leslie Enriquez and her husband were shot dead in their car while their 9-month-old daughter sat nearby. The husband of another U.S. employee was killed the same day in his vehicle.

Justice Department criminal division prosecutors say Acosta Hernandez used violence as a tool to protect lucrative markets for heroin, cocaine and marijuana in Texas and across the U.S. Court papers say the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and other investigators used “cooperating witnesses, electronic interceptions” and Acosta Hernandez’s own words to develop the case.

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