April 20, 2000
Ex-policemen draw prison terms in American student's death

                   MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Six former Mexico City policemen convicted of the
                   robbery and murder by alcohol poisoning of an American student have been
                   sentenced to up to 98 years in prison.

                   Frederick McPhail, 27, was found in his parked car Chapultepec Park in Mexico
                   City in November 1998, dead of alcohol poisoning. For their roles in the death,
                   Francisco Leon Gonzalez received 99 years in prison and Lucio Tapia Galindo
                   received 85 years, the daily newspaper Reforma reported Thursday.

                   The two were active police officers at the time of the crime. Their four
                   accomplices had retired from the force when McPhail died. Three of them
                   received sentences of 79 years, while a fourth received 68 years, Reforma said.

                   The defendants were sentenced on Wednesday after being convicted of murder,
                   robbery, kidnapping, and organized crime.

                   The police officers formed a group that has been accused of regularly
                   committing crimes against unsuspecting motorists.

                   The uniformed police officers stopped drivers, then allowed their civilian
                   accomplices to rob them of their money and credit cards. The assailants then
                   forced the victims to drink a bottle of alcohol so that they would get drunk and
                   be unable to identify the attackers.

                   A resident of New York, McPhail had moved back to Mexico to continue his
                   studies at the Ibero-American University, Reforma said.

                   Three of the suspects were arrested and extradited from Texas last year.

                   Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.