Murder convictions vacated for cartel members in ICE agent Jaime Zapata’s killing

Two Los Zetas cartel members convicted of murdering a federal agent in 2011 have had their murder convictions vacated and remanded to a lower court for limited re-sentencing, according to a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The ruling was made Jan. 21 regarding Jose Emanuel Garcia Sota, aka “Zafado,” and Jesus Ivan Quezada Pina, aka “Loco,” who were convicted of murdering Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, on Feb 15, 2011.

A federal jury convicted the men of four counts for the attack in 2017, including murder of a federal officer.

A Los Zetas hit squad attacked Zapata along with agent Victor Avila on Highway 57 while trying to steal vehicles, according to the Department of Justice.

Prosecutors introduced evidence at trial that showed investigators recovered 90 shell casings at the scene.

The murder of the federal agent in Mexico, who was from Brownsville, came during the violent height of Los Zetas.

The men received life sentences in prison for the brazen killing.