Jury finds 3 Puerto Ricans guilty of 12 murders

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Associated Press

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 2:07 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A Puerto Rico jury has found three men guilty of drug trafficking and of 12 murders, including the killing of a civilian co-pilot aboard a police helicopter.

Police say Edwin Astacio Espino fired on the helicopter in 2010 as it helped pursue a driver who had fled from a traffic stop. Astacio also was found guilty of killing a police officer in a separate incident.

They say Astacio, Luis Rivera Carrasquillo and Ramon Lanza Vazquez belonged to a drug-trafficking ring that operated in San Juan for about a decade.

With Tuesday's jury decision, U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez says sentencing hearings for the three men will be held in February.

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