Photo: Valencia and Olivera were convicted by a Californian jury
Two men on the payroll of a Mexican drug kingpin operating in San Diego were convicted of murdering two people and then dissolving their bodies in acid.
David Valencia, 42, and Jose Olivera Beritan, 38, will be sentenced July 19, San Diego County Superior Court Judge John Einhorn said.
The maximum sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“We will not sit by and let drug gangs conduct their business on our streets,” Deputy District Attorney James Fontane said, hailing the verdicts.
Valencia and Olivera were convicted as a part of a case involving nine murders and a total of 17 defendants, though several of the accused remain at large.
The two men were part of Los Palillos (The Toothpicks), a breakaway faction of the Arellano Felix drug cartel, based just across the border from San Diego in Tijuana.
Conflict among rival cartels and between criminals and the security forces has claimed more than 50,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against drug traffickers.
The murders in San Diego represent one of the few instances where Mexico’s drug war has spilled over the border into the United States.