Man Gets 20 Years for Role in Cartel Killing

     FORT WORTH (CN) – A Mexican citizen was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for helping stalk a U.S. informant and alleged Gulf Cartel attorney who was killed in broad daylight in an affluent Dallas-area suburb.
     U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means sentenced Jesus Gerardo Ledezma Campano, 32, who pleaded guilty in March to one count of interstate stalking in exchange for testifying against his father, Jesus Gerardo Ledezma Cepeda, 59, of Mexico, and cousin Jose Luis Cepeda Cortes, 59, of Edinburg, Texas.
     None of the defendants were accused of being the gunman, but of traveling from Mexico to Southlake “with the intent to kill” Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa.
     Guerrero was shot dead in May 22, 2013 as he sat in his car at Southlake Town Center. A white vehicle pulled up behind Guerrero, an unknown shooter got out and fired through Guerrero’s window while ignoring Guerrero’s wife, who was not hurt. The shooter and getaway driver remain at large.
     Ledezma’s father and cousin were convicted in May of interstate stalking and conspiracy for murder-for-hire, and they are awaiting sentencing.
     During their trial, Ledezma told jurors the hit was ordered by Beltran Leyva cartel boss Rodolfo Villarreal Hernandez, known as El Gato, as revenge for the death of his father.
     Through tears, Ledezma testified that El Gata spent $1 million tracking Guerrero. Prosecutors said Cepeda used public records and a GPS device attached the Guerrero’s car to follow him. They also said Cepeda used surveillance cameras that were placed in Guerrero’s neighborhood.
     Ledezma said he pleaded guilty in exchange for protection for his family. He told the jury he was testifying because “it’s the right thing to do” under “my morals and values that my mother taught me.”
     He testified that Guerrero was one of many targets El Gato ordered his father, a private investigator, to track. He said El Gato’s targets usually get kidnapped and tortured “if they are lucky.”
     Ledezma said that when he tried to back away from the plot to find Guerrero, El Gato’s men shot at him in Mexico and ran him over with a car, leaving him seriously injured and in a hospital.
     When El Gato learned of the successful hit, he said his father can now “rest in peace” and celebrated with a beer bash and gave away a BMW and hunting trip, Ledezma testified.

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