Two more extradited in Zapata murder

BROWNSVILLE — Two more Mexican nationals accused of participating in the killing of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime J. Zapata and wounding his partner Victor Avila have been extradited from Mexico.

Authorities said Jesus Ivan Quezada Pina, aka Loco, 28, and Alfredo Gaston Mendoza Hernandez, aka Camaron, aka Burger, 33, both of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, appeared Monday before Senior U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth and were formally charged and ordered held without bond.

The two were charged May 16, 2013, in a four-count indictment with one count of murder of an officer or employee of the United States; one count of attempted murder of an officer or employee of the United States; one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person; and one count of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death. The indictment was unsealed yesterday.

Zapata, 32, a Brownsville native who worked for ICE, was killed Feb. 15, 2011, near San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in an attack by members of the Zetas drug cartel. Avila was wounded in the attack.

Authorities said Zapata struggled with his assailants as they tried to drag him out of his vehicle. Zapata was shot at least three times with the bullets flying through the car window that accidentally had been cracked open. Authorities said 83 spent casings from AK-47 bullets were found at the scene.

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A trial date could be discussed in January for one of several men accused in the death of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata.