In El Paso, 23-year old Gonzalo Delgado-Chavez of Namiquipa, Chihuahua, Mexico, was sentenced to
262 months in federal prison for his role in the kidnapping and murder of three individuals during a
wedding ceremony in Juarez, Mexico in May of 2010 announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman,
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, El Paso Division and
Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent In Charge Carol Lee, Albuquerque Division.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge David Briones ordered that Delgado be placed
under supervised release for a period of five years after completing his prison term. He was also
ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
On October 18, 2012, Delgado pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit murder on foreign
soil. By pleading guilty, Delgado admitted that he and co-defendant, 25-year-old Irvin Enriquez,
were responsible for the kidnapping and subsequent murder of the groom, Rafael Morales-Valencia, a
U.S. citizen, his brother and best man, Jaime Morales-Valencia, a legal Permanent Resident Alien,
and their uncle, Guadalupe Morales- Arreola, a B1/B2 visa holder and citizen of Mexico during the
ceremony on May 7, 2010, at El Senor de la Misericordia Catholica church in Juarez.
According to statements provided at sentencing, on April 10, 2010, assassins working for the
Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug trafficking organization, “La Linea,” murdered Enriquez’s father
based on his association with the Sinaloa Cartel. Based on the false belief that the victims were
part of La Linea and that Guadalupe Morales- Arreloa worked for the person responsible for his
father’s death, Enriquez solicited the assistance of Jose Antonio Torres-Marrufo and his purported
team of assassins to exact revenge. Delgado admitted that he traveled from El Paso to Juarez at
the request of Enriquez and identified the victims for Torres-Marrufo’s assassins.
On February 28, 2013, Judge Briones sentenced Enriquez to 30 years in federal prison followed by
five years of supervised release and ordered that Enriquez pay a $2,000 fine. Enriquez pleaded
guilty to the charge of conspiracy to kill in a foreign country on November 9, 2012. By pleading
guilty, Enriquez admitted to conspiring with Delgado and others to assist co-conspirators in the
kidnapping and murder plot.
“The prosecution and punishment of Mr. Delgado-Chavez highlights our commitment to use every means
to track down and hold accountable those who perpetuate the horrifying cycle of violence associated
with drug trafficking, both in this country and in Mexico,” stated U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman.
“Violent acts carried out on behalf of drug trafficking organizations affect citizens on both sides
of the border. Because the safety of our communities is our top priority, DEA and its law enforcement partners remain steadfast in our pursuit of those responsible for the trafficking of illegal drugs throughout the region as well as related violence in neighboring Ciudad Juarez,” stated Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, El Paso Division.
“This multi-agency investigation dealt a significant blow to the violent Sinaloa drug trafficking organization and has made our communities safer. This investigation and prosecution were very important to the families of the victims from the State of New Mexico. They deserved justice for the loss of their loved ones. I would like to thank the many agencies that assisted the FBI's Las Cruces Southwest Border Hybrid Squad in this investigation, especially the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Las Cruces-Dona Aña Metro Narcotics Task Force,” stated Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Carol Lee, Albuquerque Division.
U.S. Attorney Pitman also expressed his appreciation to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Gonzalez and the District of New Mexico for their assistance in this prosecution as well as to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their investigation.