The bodyguard of a now-deceased Mexican drug cartel boss has pleaded guilty in a West Texas federal court to murder and drug trafficking.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Rigoberto Ruiz-Alatorre entered the plea on the third day of his trial in El Paso.
Ruiz-Alatorre admitted to murdering Fermin Rodriguez-Gonzalez in July 2006, a former associate who had decided to start his own trafficking enterprise. Prosecutors say Ruiz-Alatorre feared that Rodriguez-Gonzalez would be caught and start cooperating with authorities.
Ruiz-Alatorre provided security for Gabino Salas-Valenciano, reputed boss of the Sinaloa cartel in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Mexican soldiers killed Salas-Valenciano last year.
A statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office says Ruiz-Alatorre faces up to 28 years in federal prison. A call to his attorney's office was not returned.