Alleged Cartel Hit Men on Trial in California

Tijuana drug boss ordered killings in US
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2011 5:36 AM CST
Alleged Cartel Hit Men On Trial In Calif.
Prosecutors say the Tijuana organization hired hit men to kill US residents who owed large sums.   (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

(Newser) – Three men are on trial in San Diego for what a prosecutor calls "another glaring example of cross-border violence." The trio are accused of plotting to murder a California family on the orders of Tijuana drug barons, the AP reports. Prosecutors say the men were offered $25,000 to kill a couple who owed money to the cartel. One of the accused is the brother of one of Tijuana's most notorious hit men, who allegedly ordered the murders.

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When the gang couldn't find his targets, the hit man upped his offer to $50,000 if the killings could be done quickly, and, when told an entire family might have to be killed, told them to go ahead, prosecutors say. The three were arrested after raids in the Los Angeles area last week, during which two assault rifles, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and about $20,000 in cash were seized. (Read more California stories.)

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