Retrial Scheduled in 1990 Murder of DEA Agent

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WESLACO – A case that shook international relations between Mexico and the U.S. is headed back to the courtroom.

The U.S. Attorneys Office in California confirmed to CHANNEL FIVE NEWS a retrial is scheduled in a case involving the murder of DEA Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena.

Camarena was investigating the Guadalajara Cartel along with the help of Alfredo Zavala, a pilot who would fly over drug fields.

Both were kidnapped, tortured and killed in 1985.

In 1990, two members of the cartel were convicted of charges relating to the kidnap and murder.

A criminal trial will be held in front of a jury for Juan Ramon Matta-Ballesteros and Rene Martin Verdugo-Urquidez.

Both men worked for kingpin Rafael Caro-Quintero; Matta-Ballesteros supervised and managed the cartel and Verdugo-Urquidez served as a high-level lieutenant.

Throughout the years, they've been appealing and requesting a new trial.

Their petition gained momentum in 2014. That's when the Office of Inspector General released a report that raised questions about FBI cases that contributed to the evidence presented in both of these trials.

The new trial was originally scheduled for this year but both the plaintiffs and defendants requested more time to prepare.

The trial is now scheduled for April 30, 2019.


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