Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Teen cartel killer’s mom sentenced in immigration case (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Teen cartel killer’s mom sentenced in immigration case
Written by Morgan Lee
7:57 p.m., Oct. 18, 2011

SAN DIEGO — The mother of a 15-year-old San Diego-born boy convicted this year of killing on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel has been sentenced to one year in jail on immigration charges, officials said Tuesday.

Yolanda Lugo Jimenez, 44, pleaded guilty in February in U.S. District Court to being in the country illegally after being deported to Mexico because of a 1997 felony drug conviction. She was sentenced Monday by Judge Roger Benitez.

Lugo was detained by federal agents outside her Logan Heights apartment on Dec. 6 — four days after Mexican soldiers captured her son, Edgar Jimenez Lugo as he prepared to board a flight from central Mexico to Tijuana in hopes of reaching his mother.

Edgar was convicted in July of homicide and organized crime charges in the beheading of four men and is serving a three-year sentence in a juvenile detention facility in Mexico. The August 2010 killings ended with mutilated bodies being strung from a bridge in Cuernavaca, a tourist destination just south of Mexico City.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a hold on Yolanda Lugo that would turn her over to immigration officials once her sentence is completed in December, said agency spokeswoman Lauren Mack. A previous conviction makes it likely Lugo will be deported.

She might seek to defer deportation, said her attorney, Jack Boltax, who declined to specify on what grounds.

Lugo’s husband, an undocumented immigrant with no criminal record, also was arrested on Dec. 6 and was returned to Mexico. The couple have two elementary school-aged daughters who were born and raised in the United States. Edgar is Lugo’s child from a previous relationship.

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