Authors: By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN
MCALLEN, Texas (AP) -- A top Juarez cartel figure has been sentenced to life in prison in the U.S. after admitting that he ordered more than 1,500 killings, including the slaying of a U.S. consulate employee in Mexico.
Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in El Paso, Texas, to 11 counts including conspiracy, racketeering and murder.
A federal judge sentenced Acosta to seven concurrent life terms, three additional consecutive life terms and 20 years in federal prison.
Investigators allege that Acosta headed La Linea, the Juarez cartel's enforcement arm. He admitted in court Thursday to ordering more than 1,500 killings before he was captured in July with his bodyguard in the northern Mexico city of Chihuahua.
Acosta's attorney did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.