U.S. Consulate employee murder may have been a mistake, according to Barrio Azteca gang member
Updated: Tuesday, February 11 2014, 10:18 PM MST
By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- A Barrio Azteca hit-man said he and another gang member were instructed to kill a U.S. Consulate employee and other U.S. officials on March 13, 2010, but claimed the kills may have been a mistake.
The gang member, who goes by the alias El Entes, took the stand Tuesday in the trial for Arturo Gallegos-Castrellon. El Entes said Gallegos-Castrellon instructed gang members to kill hundreds of people, but shared one story in particular.
"We were on the lookout for white Honda Pilots. I was told (Gallegos-Castrellon's wife had been followed by one of those SUVs."
Gallegos-Castrellon was allegedly after a rival gang member, but the vehicle description matched the cars Leslie Ann Enriquez, a U.S. Consulate employee, her husband, Arthur Redelfs, and another man were driving.
Prosecutors played audio recordings in court Tuesday allegedly of Gallegos-Castrellon telling El Entes and another gang member to follow the SUVs. One of the vehicles was a Honda Pilot; the other was a Toyota SUV.
El Entes said the cars were first spotted at a party hall in Juarez, where "the couple came out with a child."
In the audio recordings, where voices were heard speaking Spanish, El Entes described the couple to Castrellon. While attorneys pointed out it didn't match the description of who Castrellon was after, El Entes said he was instructed, "Kill them anyway."
After making a few turns and any military presence was out of sight, El Entes told jurors a second gang member driving with him got out of the car, walked up to the SUV with a gun and shot multiple times, sparing the child’s life.
El Entes called the kills, "Basically a mistake."
El Entes, who is in prison and serving 10 life sentences for his role in the Barrio Azteca game violence, also told jurors about car bombings and other violent acts he was instructed to be a part of. He said he pleaded guilty on three counts of murder, killing people in another country, drug trafficking and more.
The trial for Gallegos-Castrellon will continue Wednesday morning in the federal courthouse.
Gallegos-Castrellon is just one of 35 people involved. Most of the alleged gang members have pleaded guilty and are in custody.