A Taiwanese citizen was sentenced to 61 years in a US jail on Wednesday in connection with the killing of two federal drug enforcement agents in a shootout over a heroin deal 17 years ago.
Pasadena Superior Court Judge Michelle Rosenblatt slapped the sentence on Michael Su Te Chia, who is now 38, for his involvement in the killing of Drug Enforcement Administration agents Paul Seema, 52, and George Montoya, 34, near Los Angeles, California in February 1988.
Chia was involved in a plot to rob the DEA agents but was not at the scene of the slayings.
In addition, he was convicted of the attempted murder of DEA agent Jose Martinez, who was wounded in the attack, along with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
The agents, posing as drug dealers, were carrying US$80,000 in cash to buy heroin when they were shot in the Los Angeles area of Pasadena by William Wei Wang and Frank Kow.
Kow and another man were killed after a chase and ensuing shootout later the same day.
Wang, now 36, is serving a life prison term.
Chia, who was not involved in the chase or shootout, was however involved in surveillance and other duties prior to the murders and was part of the conspiracy to rob the agents, according to prosecutor Darrell Mavis.
Rosenblatt denied a defense request for a new trial before imposing the sentence, which is the same prison term Chia received after an earlier conviction in the case.
That conviction was overturned by the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals.