SAN DIEGO (CN) – A Baja California police officer in that Mexican state’s Attorney General’s Office admitted he hired another officer to run a hit squad for a drug cartel, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Carlos Cosme, 36, pleaded guilty to federal RICO charges on Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
“In his plea agreement, Cosme admitted that he hired codefendant Jose Ortega Nuno to run a ‘hit squad’ on behalf of a multinational criminal enterprise controlled by Fernando Sanchez-Arellano (the ‘FSO’),” prosecutors said in the statement.
“Due to the establishment of that ‘hit squad,’ Cosme admitted to participating in a conspiracy to commit murder on behalf of the FSO. At the time that he agreed to run Cosme’s ‘hit squad,’ Jose Ortega Nuno was employed as a police officer with the Baja California State Attorney General’s Office, and was responsible for supervising that office’s sex crimes unit. Another official from the Baja California State Attorney General’s Office, the former Director of International Liaison, Jesus Quinonez Marquez, pleaded guilty to federal RICO charges (last week). Jose Ortega Nuno, who was extradited to the United States from Mexico to face charges in this case, pleaded guilty to the RICO conspiracy on Dec. 13, 2011.
“During his guilty plea (Friday), Cosme also admitted to selling and importing several pounds of methamphetamine on behalf of the FSO.”
Cosme is the 39th person convicted in the ring, prosecutors said.
According to the book “El Sicario,” (The Assassin), by Charles Bowden and Molly Molloy, Mexican drug cartels recruit and hire Mexican police officers while they are still at police academies. The new officers graduate ready to go to work for the cartels.