State News

Jul 26, 2013 3:57 PM

Ex-Soldier Gets Life Sentence for Cartel Murder

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A West Texas judge has sentenced a former Fort Bliss soldier to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to murdering a man in a cartel-ordered hit.

Michael Jackson Apodaca admitted to shooting Jose Daniel Gonzalez-Galeana. The 22-year-old agreed to the plea and parole eligibility after serving 30 years of his sentence, the El Paso Times reports (http://bit.ly/169RiT7). As part of his plea agreement, Apodaca testified against co-defendant Juan Gerardo Gracia Jr., who ultimately was acquitted by a jury.

In his testimony, Apodaca said Gracia's brother-in-law and alleged Juarez cartel member Ruben Rodriguez-Dorado planned the murder and agreed to pay him and Gracia $5,000 each for the killing Gonzalez-Galeana, whom they believed had turned into a federal informant.

Rodriguez-Dorado pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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