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Suspect Arrested 11 Years After Murders

Thu., July 18, 1996

A drug smuggler accused of torturing a U.S. drug agent and killing two Americans mistaken for agents has been arrested in a trailer park 11 years after the crimes.

Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes, 54, a native of San Juan, Texas, is accused of kidnapping and torturing undercover agent Enrique Camarena Salazar of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1985 while Godinez was a member of the Guadalajara narcotics cartel in Mexico. Camarena was found dead at a ranch.

Godinez is accused of helping kill John Walker, a Vietnam veteran, and friend Alberto Radelat, after the two had walked in on a cartel meeting at a Guadalajara restaurant in January 1985, days before Camarena was killed.

Cartel members mistakenly thought the two were drug agents and forced them into the kitchen where they were tortured with ice picks and knives. The men then were driven outside Guadalajara, shot and buried.

Godinez, who broke out of a California jail in 1983 while serving time for drug smuggling, is believed to have been living in the trailer park on the Mexico border for three months.

He is awaiting transfer to Los Angeles, where he was indicted in 1992.


 
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