Mexican drug cartels are recruiting American soldiers to act as clandestine hit men in the United States, paying them thousands of dollars to assassinate federal informants and organized crime rivals, law enforcement experts tell the Daily News.
The most recent — and blatant — example came this summer when 22-year-old Michael Apodaca, a former private first class at Fort Bliss in Texas, was sentenced to life in prison for executing Jose Daniel Gonzalez-Galeana, a member of the infamous Juarez Cartel in Mexico and a snitch for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
The Juarez Cartel paid Apodaca $5,000 to off the confidential informant outside his home in a quiet, upscale neighborhood in the border city of El Paso, Texas. The police chief lived just a few doors away.
Apodaca, who had served in Afghanistan, calmly testified earlier this year about the day in 2009 when he emptied eight rounds into Gonzalez-Galeana, then jumped into a get-away car driven by an accomplice.