Investigator: Lawyer’s Death In US May Be Linked To Zetas Sicarios, Nine Other Deaths

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Three Mexican citizens charged with murdering a lawyer representing a former leader of the Gulf Cartel in 2013 have now been tied to the murder of nine other individuals according to a U.S. District Court.

Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa was murdered in May 2013 in Southlake, Texas. A father-son duo are among the three accused of Guerrero’s murder.  Jesus Gerardo Ledezma-Cepeda, 59, and Jesus Gerardo Ledezma-Campano, 32 stalked Guerrero by putting a GPS tracker on his car and setting up surveillance equipment in his neighborhood according to WFAA 8 ABC.

The third person charged in Guerrero’s death – Jose Luis Cepeda-Cortes – apparently used emails to keep tabs on Guerrero along with taking photographs while following him.

The three suspects are believed to be sicarios – the Mexican term for hitmen – for Los Zetas according to The Dallas Morning News. According to an investigator familiar with the matter, the cartel lawyer was murdered for not meeting certain expectations and the hit was ordered by the Beltran Leyva cartel but ultimately executed by the Zetas on their behalf since Southlake is considered their turf.

The Zetas used to be a part of the Gulf Cartel and have now become major rivals which would explain why they agreed to murder a lawyer representing a Gulf Cartel member. Up until its downfall, the Beltran Leyva cartel was known to rely upon the Zetas.

Suspected Zetas sicarios followed Guerrero for two years before killing him. To ensure constant surveillance of their subject, the three men rented an apartment in theh Southlake area and several different cars so as to avoid being detected.

The Beltran Leyva Cartel is practically defunct with the death of one of its leaders in 2010 and another facing trial in the US as of February 2016. The cartel was also known for having a US leader – a Texan known as Edgar ‘La Barbie‘ Valdez-Villareal for being blonde – who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking in a Atlanta federal court in January 2016.

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