Cops: U.S. soldier was cartel hit man

Aug. 12, 2009 at 11:46 AM

EL PASO, Texas, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. authorities say an Army soldier was paid to carry out the slaying of a suspected Mexican drug cartel informant in El Paso, Texas.

Affidavits filed in the murder case against Pfc. Michael Jackson Apodaca, 18, indicate the slain man, Jose Daniel Gonzalez Galeana, was a mid level drug dealer who worked as an informant for the United States, CNN reported Wednesday.

Two others charged in Gonzalez's slaying, Ruben Rodriguez Dorado, 30, and Christopher Duran, 17, told police Apodaca was paid to carry out the May 15 slaying, which prosecutors say was ordered by the Juarez drug cartel for whom Gonzalez worked.

CNN said the affidavit states Rodriguez is believed to be a member of the cartel, while Apodaca and Duran are not. It indicates that Rodriguez confessed that he ordered Gonzalez's execution and paid Duran and Apodaca for their roles in the shooting, which he allegedly said was carried out because the cartel suspected the victim of being an informant.

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