A 14 year-old San Diego boy has been convicted of murder, kidnapping and torture in Mexico. Edgar Jimenez Lugo, who was arrested in December, admitted to killing four men for a violent Mexican drug cartel.
Known as "El Ponchis," Lugo was sentenced to three years in a juvenile detention center, the maximum sentence for a minor. He was also fined 4.5 million pesos ($390,000).
He was tried in connection with the murder and beheading for four men in the Morelos state near Mexico City, who were found hanging from a bridge in August. He is also thought to be one of a handful of boys who was seen in a YouTube video holding guns and beating a man.
El Ponchis -- which means "the cloak" -- said he worked for the South Pacific cartel. Lugo claims he was kidnapped by the gang and forced to commit murders while on drugs.
Police caught the boy, along with his sister, trying to board a plane to Tijuana. Lugo said that he was trying to flee to San Diego to see his mother.
The murders are another indication of the severity of the drug war in Mexico. Since 2008, at least 41,000 people have died in drug-related violence.
Morelos used to be under the de facto rule of the Beltran Leyva gang. But after the cartel's leader was shot by Mexican marines, rival sects have been feuding over the territory.