SAN ANTONIO – A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the case against an alleged drug cartel hit man in south Texas.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez declared a mistrial in Laredo on Thursday in the case against Gerardo Castillo Chavez. That's after the jury acquitted him on a weapons charge and deadlocked on two other charges related to drugs and conspiracy.
Prosecutors accused Castillo — known by the nickname "Cheeks" — of being a member of Gulf Cartel hit squads that killed at least seven people in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, in 2005 and 2006.
The only two witnesses who tied Castillo to the hit squads were both admitted killers.
Alvarez ordered a new trial set for Feb. 19 on the deadlocked charges.
Laredo is on the Texas-Mexico border, 145 miles southwest of San Antonio.