U.S. born Edgar Jimenez Lugo, 15, was convicted and sentenced Tuesday to three-years in prison in Cauernavaca, Mexico for committing crimes as a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel.
Lugo, born in San Diego, California and raised in Mexico by a grandmother, was operating as a hit man but was captured near Mexico City. He was known as “El Ponchis” (“The Cloak”); an affectionate name given to him by family members.
Lugo was arrested December 2010 as he tried to flee to Tijuana with his sister, where they planned to cross the border into the United States and reunite with their mother.
Shortly after authorities apprehended the teenager outside of Mexico City he calmly answered questions from reporters.
One reporter asked, “How many have you killed?”
He responded, “Four.”
When asked how he executed his victims the teen replied, “I slit their throats.”
During an on camera interrogation authorities say the teen confessed to working for a South Pacific drug cartel. He stated he started his career as a killer at the age of 11.
The bodies of the four people the teen confessed to killing were found in the tourist city of Cuernavaca beheaded and hanging from a bridge.
The teen’s trial was closed to the public and the media due to the defendant being a minor, but some of the teenager’s family were allowed in the courtroom along with legal representatives, and a human rights observer.
During the six days of testimony prosecutors called 43 witnesses. However, according to juvenile court spokesman Irvin Vergara there were no witnesses called for the defense.
The defendant Lugo showed good behavior during the proceedings, according to Vergara.
Ultimately the teen was convicted for organized crime involvement, homicide, kidnapping, and drug and weapons possession.
The Associated Press reported that the teen has been held in a juvenile detention center in Morelos Mexico since his arrest and will be serving his time there also.
State Prosecutor Jose Falmerol said the judge gave Lugo the maximum sentence allowed for a minor in the central state of Morelos.
His two older sisters who were also arrested will be tried as adults for similar drug cartel crimes; they are facing decades in prison.