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Leader of Barrio Azteca pleads guilty for his role in 2010 killing of U.S. Consulate worker and two others

January 18, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Leader of Barrio Azteca pleads guilty for his role in 2010 killing of U.S. Consulate worker and two others

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A Barrio Azteca gang lieutenant confessed in a federal court in San Antonio to his role in distributing controlled substances, conspiring to commit murder in a foreign country, racketeering, money laundering, along with importing heroin, cocaine, and marijuana.

Ricardo Valles De La Rosa, also known as “Chino,” 52, an El Paso, Texas resident, appeared before U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone on Friday in the Western District of Texas.

He pleaded guilty to several charges detailed in a 30-page federal indictment that the convictions of him and 34 other associates.

Justice Department officials said Valles and other associated of the Bario Azteca gang, a transnational border gang linked to the Juarez Cartel, were charged in an indictment that was unsealed in March 2011.

In Oct. 2015, Valles De la Rosa was one of  group of 13 high-ranking organized crime figures, including American-born drug lord Edgar Valdez Villarreal, better known as “La Barbie” and Gulf cartel leader Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sánchez, alias ‘El Coss’ who were extradited by the Mexican government  to the United States

In addition to pleading guilty to the money laundering and drug smuggling charges, Valles also confessed to his role in conspiring to carry out murder in a foreign country.

He is the 27th suspect in the indictment to either plead guilty or be convicted in a trial.

Three other suspects — Hector Galindo was sentenced to life behind bars, while Luis Humberto Hernandez Celis, aka Pac, 32, of El Paso wand handed a 20-year sentence.

Valles de la Rosa  and Hernandez-Celis were among 13 high-ranking drug traffickers extradited to the U.S. in October 2015

Alberto Nunez Payan, aka ‘Fresa’ who was recently extradited from Mexico, received 30 years behind bars.

In 2014, another series of raids were carried out which targeted the leadership of the group. At the time, FBI supervisory agent Marco Antonio Cordero said, “We focused on the hierarchy — the ones running the streets in El Paso.” That operation led to the apprehension of 34 people connected to the gang.

A major crime in the conspiracy was the 2010 murder of a U.S. Consulate employee and her husband by members of Bario Azteca. “The BA killed these individuals because they were mistakenly believed to be rivals associated with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Drug Trafficking Organization,” a statement released by DOJ stated.

The Barrio Azteca gang members were responsible for the killing a U.S. Consulate worker  and two others in 2010

Valles confessed to the court that he received the location of a car being driven by the husband of the consulate worker.

He also revealed that he knew that other gang members were going to find the vehicle and kill the occupant.

The Barrio Azteca leader further explained how became a gang member while he was serving time in a federal penitentiary.

During that period, Valles claimed that he rose to the rank of sergeant. After his release in 2007, he was deported back to Juarez.

Two of the victims were identified as consulate employee Lesley Enriquez, right, and her husband, Arthur Redelfs.

After he had been expelled from the U.S., he was once again promoted to lieutenant within the group. His areas of responsibility included managing prostitution rings and illegal after-hours alcohol sales in Juarez.

He worked to illegally get law enforcement-related information about the arrests of Barrio Azteca gang members, and he tracked down the locations of rival group members. He would also keep track of the completion of hits ordered against these rivals.

He was later taken into custody and extradited to Texas in 2015.

Two of the 35 members indicted have been arrested and charged. Twenty-five of the individuals pleaded guilty and one other suspect was found guilty at trial.

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