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Suspect in immigration agent killing held in US

Published: Dec 22, 2011 2:00 pm By: Associated Press

"An alleged Mexican drug cartel member was arraigned in U.S. federal court Wednesday on murder charges from the roadside ambush of two U.S. immigration agents working south of the border.

A spokesman for the U.S. District Court in Washington says Julian Zapata Espinoza entered a not guilty plea. U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth ordered him held in jail without bail on the charges that could carry a life sentence if he's convicted.

The charges included murder and attempted murder for the Feb. 15 mid-day attack along a four-lane highway that killed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata and wounded colleague Victor Avila as they were driving to Mexico City after a meeting with other U.S. personnel. The shooting in the northern state of San Luis Potosi was a rare attack on American officials in the country fighting violent drug cartels."

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