EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Barrio Azteca gunmen directly responsible for the March 2010 murders in Juarez, Mexico of a U.S. Consulate employee, her husband, and the husband of another U.S. Consulate employee were sentenced to life in prison Monday, Oct. 24.

“The gunmen who viciously shot and killed Leslie Enriquez, Arthur Redelfs, and Jorge Salcido Ceniceros will now deservedly spend the rest of their lives in prison,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.  “This prosecution demonstrates the Department’s commitment to combating violent transnational criminal organizations and holding accountable those who may harm Americans, whether at home or abroad.  I want to thank the Mexican Government for its cooperation that helped lead to this just result, including extraditing both defendants to the United States to be prosecuted for their heinous crimes.”

On Feb. 3, Jose Guadalupe Diaz Diaz, aka Zorro, 43, of Chihuahua, Mexico, and Martin Artin Perez Marrufo, aka Popeye, 54, also of Chihuahua, were found guilty of all 11 counts after a 13-day jury trial in the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division. The jury found Diaz and Marrufo guilty of conspiracy to commit racketeering, narcotics trafficking, narcotics importation, money laundering, and murder in a foreign country; three counts of murder in aid of racketeering; and three counts of murder resulting from the use and carrying of firearms during and in relation to drug trafficking.

“The victims in this case were coming from a child’s birthday party when they were misidentified as targets by members of Barrio Azteca and gunned down in a senseless act of violence,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff for the Western District of Texas. “I am incredibly proud of the work our office and our law enforcement partners, including international law enforcement, have done to bring some sense of justice to the victims’ families.”

Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that on March 13, 2010, Diaz and Marrufo served as gunmen on the hit teams that murdered U.S. Consulate employee Leslie Enriquez, her husband, Arthur Redelfs, and Jorge Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of another U.S. Consulate employee. The victims were targeted by the hit teams after leaving a child’s birthday party in Juarez because they were mistaken initially for rival gang members. Diaz shot and killed Enriquez and Redelfs. Marrufo shot and killed Ceniceros.

The defendants were sentenced to life in prison on 10 counts and 240 months of imprisonment on the remaining count. Three of the life in prison sentences will run consecutive to the sentences imposed on all other counts. Both defendants were also sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution.