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Samuel Velesco is a Texan triple-murderer with suspected links to drug trafficking and kidnaps within the Mexican mafia. In 2005 he was accused by his wife of sexual abuse against his four-year-old stepdaughter by the girl's mother, his ex-wife Ruth Sagredo. In order to prevent her testifying, Velasco plotted her murder with his brother Emmanuel and sister Dalia Valencia.

Velesco arranged for Sagredo's former father-in-law, Francisco Sagredo, to be murdered in Mexico in order to lure Ruth Sagredo across the border to attend his funeral. When she did not appear, Velasco had her sister Cinthia Sagredo killed. When Ruth Sagredo attended the funeral, she too was murdered.

Background

When Velasco's stepdaughter told her mother Velesco had abused her she was determined authorities should prosecute him. The girl's age meant under Texan law she was too young to testify so Ruth Sagredo would be the only prosecution witness. He was charged with sexual offenses.

His law team succeeded in having the trial postponed seven times, but were unable to prevent it altogether. in 2008 a trial date was set for the end of the year and so the three siblings met at Samuel Velasco's home to plot Ruth Sagredo's murder.

The trio was already suspected by the FBI of trafficking drugs into Texas via El Paso on the Mexican border, and of using Samuel Velasco's shoe shop in the city to launder the proceeds. Court documents would later allege the trio were involved in kidnappings from 2009-2013, but Vice News ran an investigation alleging the three were already involved at this stage and targeted students, businessmen, children, and medical professionals. Prosecutors suspect Samuel Velesco was the organization's ringleader and Vice claimed he took charge of ransom negotiations.

Murders

The plan to hatch Francisco Sagredo was hatched in the style of a Mafia robbery to divert suspicion and ensure the funeral took place in Mexico. Sagredo was a rich business owner so this was believable. On October 28, 2008, three masked gunmen entered his Juarez home.

Other members of Francisco Sagredo's family were locked into the bathroom while he was separated from them and shot. The gunmen emptied his safe and fled. The plot failed, however, when Ruth Sagredo did not attend his funeral.

On November 20, 2008, masked gunman sat in wait outside a hotel Cynthia Sagredo ran in Juarez. When she left they shot her before driving away. This attack was successful; Ruth Sagredo arrived in Mexico on November 22.

Two vehicles boxed in the car she was in. Several men then opened fire, killing her, before the cars sped away.

Downfall

Samuel Velesco and his co-conspirators initially evaded arrest. In March 2009 the sexual assault case was dropped. However, FBI investigators had the three in their sights already due to the ongoing organized crime probe.

The siblings were arrested and charged in September 2015 in the US. Emmanuel Valesco and Dalia Valencia admitted conspiracy to murder. Samuel Valesco went to trial and was convicted of the murders in November 2016.

Emmanuel Valesco and Dalia Valencia face sentence in December 2016 and are expected to receive life. Samuel Valesco faces a mandatory life term at his sentencing in January 2017.

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