A self-identified Mexican drug cartel enforcer was expected to receive a life sentence on November 2 with no chance for parole after pleading guilty on October 6 to nine murders in California. Authorities say the man admitted to several other killings across the country in service of a cartel he refuses to identify.
According to ABC News, Jose Manuel Martinez will not receive the death penalty in exchange for his plea. Breitbart Texas reported in June 2013 that Martinez, known as “Mano Negro,” is originally from Mexico but has legal status in the U.S. His killing spree began in 1980, and has spanned 12 states.
Although Martinez would not say which cartel he worked for, US authorities confirmed at least 11 of the murders out of the 34 he claimed responsibility for were on their behalf. “Everything he’s telling us has checked out. He knows all the details. He’s spot-on with the specifics of a crime,” Capt. Tim McWhorter of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department told Alabama’s local TimesDaily.com.
In April 2014, Breitbart Texas reported that Martinez was known for killing for “financial gain,” according to Tulare County Superior Court documents. According to Tim McWhorter of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama, Mano Negro slipped up in a homicide that he committed in Alabama, where Martinez admitted to a reporter that it got personal.
Per ABC News, Martinez was arrested in 2013 while crossing the border from Mexico to Arizona in connection with a slaying in Alabama. Shortly after his arrest, he confessed to killing and collecting debts across the county for an unnamed Mexican cartel.
Sylvia Longmire is a border security expert and Contributing Editor for Breitbart Texas. You can read more about cross-border issues in her latest book, Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer.