JammedUp News

News

2 Zetas cartel members convicted in 2011 murder of ICE special agent Jaime Zapata: U.S. authorities

July 28, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
2 Zetas cartel members convicted in 2011 murder of ICE special agent Jaime Zapata: U.S. authorities

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

On Thursday, A federal jury in Washington convicted two members of a Mexican drug cartel in the 2011 ambush murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Jaime Zapata

Five other members of the Los Zetas cartel pleaded guilty to federal charges in the killing of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and injuring another agent in Mexico during an attack on their car in San Luis Potosi, a state in central Mexico, CBS News reported.

All seven cartel members were extradited to the U.S.

“With today’s guilty verdicts, seven members of the violent drug cartel, Los Zetas, have been brought to justice for the ambush that took the life of Special Agent Jaime Zapata and that injured and could have killed Special Agent Victor Avila,” U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced in a statement.

Special Agent Jaime Zapata

Jurors in U.S. District Court in Washington convicted Jose Emanuel Garcia Sota, 36, and Jesus Ivan Quezada Piña, 29, of murder and attempted murder of a federal officer and a related gun crime.

Twenty-two witnesses, including special agent Avila, who survived the ambush, testified at the trial that started on July 10th.

Both men are facing mandatory life sentences for the murder conviction.

“Drug cartels bring death and destruction and sell drugs that take lives across America,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated. “Today’s conviction of two cartel members in the murder of ICE agent Jaime Zapata is the next step in the Department of Justice’s efforts to dismantle cartels and bring them to justice.”

Jose Emanuel Garcia Sota, 36, right and Jesus Ivan Quezada Piña, 29, of murder of the U.S. federal agent

Phillips said prosecutors put forth evidence at trial that Garcia Sota and Quezada Piña were part of two Los Zetas hit teams and were on a mission the day of the killing to rob vehicles for the cartel’s operations.

They were among a group of cartel gunmen who targeted an armored Chevrolet Suburban with diplomatic plates and driven by the special agents.

Cartel members opened fire at the agents’ car with semi-automatic assault weapons and handguns. Zapata, 32, was shot and killed and Avila, then 38, was injured. Authorities later recovered roughly 90 shell casings at the scene.

Get the latest news from the world of crime