Mexico sentences teenage hitman to 3 years in prison

MEXICO CITY,  (Reuters) – A court in Mexico today sentenced a 14-year-old U.S. citizen and drug gang  hitman to three years in a juvenile prison for murder,  kidnapping and trafficking cocaine.
Edgar Jimenez, known as “El Ponchis,” worked for the South  Pacific drug cartel in Morelos state outside Mexico City until  his capture by Mexican soldiers in December, when he attempted  to travel to the United States.
The attorney general’s office in Morelos said a local  juvenile court had found the minor guilty of four crimes  including killing four people whose mutilated bodies were found  hanging from a bridge not far from Mexico City last August.
An army statement in December said Jimenez had admitted  killing at least seven people under the influence of drugs  provided by the cartel’s leader.
Minors have increasingly been drawn into the Mexican  government’s conflict with drug gangs, which has claimed around  40,000 lives in 4 1/2 years.
Mexicans have become used to hearing about death in recent  years, but Jimenez’s youth and the brutal nature of his crimes  caused shock when the reports surfaced last year.
It is not clear what his nickname refers to.

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