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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    TX. Mother, Daughter Admit to Laundering Drug Cartel Money

    Mother, Daughter Admit to Laundering Drug Cartel Money

    Two plead guilty in case involving Zetas and horse-racing

    By Scott Gordon
    Saturday, Mar 30, 2013 | Updated 8:05 AM PDT

    A woman in Texas and her daughter pleaded guilty on Friday to helping a violent Mexican drug cartel launder money.

    Zulema Trevino Morales and her daughter Alexandra Trevino admitted they helped the Zetas invest millions of dollars in drug profits in the quarter horse industry.

    Zulema Trevino's husband Jose Trevino has pleaded not guilty in the case, which is set to go to trial in federal court in Austin on April 15.

    The FBI seized hundreds of horses allegedly bought by the cartel in a raid on an Oklahoma ranch last year. Agents also searched the Trevino's former home in Balch Springs.

    Related Stories◾
    FBI: Cartel Cash Laundered in Horse Racing

    Jose Trevino is the brother of Miguel Trevino, the reputed head of the Zetas, one of the most powerful and violent Mexican drug cartels. It is based in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico but controls the drug trade in 11 Mexican states, according to U.S. prosecutors.

    The government later sold most of the horses at an auction.

    Some of the horses, with names such as Number One Cartel, ran in races at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas and also in California and New Mexico.

    Zulema Trevino faces 20 years in prison. Her daughter could be sentenced to three years. But prosecutors are recommending both receive probation, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

    Mother, Daughter Admit to Laundering Drug Cartel Money | NBC Bay Area
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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Mexican drug cartel money laundering trial begins in Texas

    Jim Forsyth
    Reuters
    4:59 p.m. EDT, April 15, 2013

    (Reuters) - The jury trial of a Mexican drug cartel leader that began on Monday in Austin, Texas, will provide a look at how the vicious gangs that make huge profits in drug and human smuggling go about laundering their illegal profits in the United States.

    Jose Trevino Morales is charged with multiple counts of money laundering for his role in Los Zetas, a ruthless gang blamed for much of the brutal violence which has marred Mexico over the past several years.

    According to documents in the case in District Court for the Western District of Texas, Attorney Robert Pitman seeks forfeiture of $60 million in assets from Trevino Morales and his two brothers, who allegedly ran a money laundering operation that stretched from Chicago to Venezuela.

    "The testimony might lead us to an understanding of an organization that has been very successful at managing its operations," said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an expert on Mexican criminal gangs at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

    "We don't know anything about the Zetas' operations, and this will allow us to learn more about their operations," she added.

    Miguel and Omar Trevino Morales, alleged gang leaders and the brothers of Trevino Morales, are also named as defendants in the case.

    The pair are believed to be leaders of Los Zetas, a Nuevo Laredo-based cartel that was formed by a group of Mexican Army deserters and is named for the Spanish word for the letter "Z."

    The two brothers remain among Mexico's most wanted fugitives. The arrest of Jose Trevino Morales in July 2012 prompted the U.S. embassy in Mexico City to issue a statement warning of potential retaliation and anti-American violence.'

    Trevino Morales' lawyer was not available to comment about the case.

    Trevino Morales, his brothers and 12 other defendants are accused of using "front" businesses in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and elsewhere to launder the drug gang's immense profits.

    Trevino Morales and the other defendants are accused of setting up "Tremor," a horse breeding operation. Prosecutors claim the defendants purchased a horse ranch in Oklahoma, bought several hundred horses, and managed to win several substantial races, including the All American Futurity, the major competition on the quarter horse circuit.

    The Zetas' money was stashed in race horses, some of which were given not so subtle names like "Big Daddy Cartel" and "Morning Cartel," according to court documents.

    An FBI affidavit claims that at one point, Los Zetas was funneling $1 million a month into the horse operation.

    Correa-Cabrera said the case will not provide much insight into the actual operations of the cartel in Mexico, because Trevino Morales and the co-defendants had a "limited" role in that part of the business.

    She does believe, however, information learned during the case will be invaluable to prosecutors in both the United States and Mexico who are trying to dismantle the Zetas empire.

    "We will know more about how they launder the money in the United States, we are going to know about the connection with some politicians maybe as well," Correa-Cabrera said.

    Statements from several major American financial institutions, including Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, are listed on court documents as potential evidence in the case, but prosecutors stress that the banks are cooperating and are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

    Trevino-Morales' wife and daughter have pleaded guilty in the scheme. The race horses purchases by Tremor were seized by the government and many of them have been sold.

    http://www.vagazette.com/news/sns-rt...,6031565.story
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    Ex-Zetas co-founder testifies in money laundering trial

    Posted: 12:58 p.m. Monday, April 29, 2013
    By Jazmine Ulloa

    American-Statesman Staff

    A former top official and founder of Mexico’s Zetas cartel testified Monday that the current head of the narco group and his brother laundered their drug proceeds through the horse racing industry in the United States, buying quarter horses that they raced in at least two fixed competitions.

    Jesús Enrique Rejón Aguilar, known as “El Mamito,” was extradited in September 2012, more than year after he was implicated in the killing of a U.S. customs agent in a shootout along a highway in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. He is likely the first senior member of the original gang of 14 to testify in court.

    On the stand, Rejón Aguilar sat unshaven and stern-faced in a white prison uniform as he admitted to committing slayings, kidnappings and torture, telling jurors he deserted the Mexican military, which he joined at age 16, for the Gulf Cartel in 1993 when he was accused of corruption.

    He said Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, now the top leader of the Zetas, bought the horse Tempting Dash, formerly named Huesos, in the United States through Ramiro Villarreal, once a renowned horse agent who witnesses have said was killed in a fiery crash after the cartel found he was cooperating with U.S. authorities. But Treviño Morales, or “Z-40,” wanted the horse in the name of his brother, José Treviño Morales, who had nothing to do with the sale of narcotics, Rejón Aguilar said.

    José Treviño Morales is one of five men on trial this week accused of pouring millions of dollars worth of Zetas profits into front companies that bought, trained and raced American quarter horses. Those champions with the most distinguished pedigrees were bred for sale, witnesses have said.

    On Monday, prosecutors played phone conversations between Villarreal and top leaders within the organization, including Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales and his brother, Oscar Omar Treviño Morales, another high-level official known as “Z-42”.

    Rejón Aguilar identified the men in the calls and said the brothers bribed the gate starters in a 2009 race in Ruidoso, N.M., in which Tempting Dash won José Treviño Morales more than $400,000, allowing him to kick start his company, Tremor Enterprises.

    Rejón Aguilar said he was interested in quarter horses before the Treviño brothers. They were his hobby, and narco traffickers invest in them, much like they invest in property, he said. “They need a way to clean the money,” he said through a Spanish translator.

    Defense attorneys tried to discredit the credibility of Rejón Aguilar, who is accused of moving tons of cocaine into the United States and could be sentenced to life in prison for drug conspiracy charges in Washington, D.C. Rejón Aguilar said he was responsible for more than 30 killings and 10 kidnappings in Mexico. Some of the victims were tortured while he was present, he said.

    Rejón Aguilar, a former member of the military’s elite special forces, was arrested in Mexico in July 2011. He was suspected of being involved in a firefight in February of that year that killed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata and wounded another federal agent.

    Also taking the stand Monday was Tyler Graham, a member of the prominent Graham family, which has contributed thousands of dollars to top officials in Texas, including Gov. Rick Perry, and who manages Southwest Stallion Station breeding stables about 23 miles outside Austin in Elgin.

    Graham, 29, told jurors that he was roped into cooperating with the FBI after he bought the $875,000-horse Dashin Follies at a packed auction in Oklahoma in January 2010. He said he bred horses for José Treviño Morales and two other defendants implicated in the case, including professional horse trainer Fernando Solis Garcia, who also is standing trial.

    He said the businessmen paid him in structured payments or in cash — and were often late.

    At some point, he told one of them, “I’m not a bank,” Graham said. “I have to be paid for my services.”

    http://www.statesman.com/news/news/c...ies-in-/nXbYb/
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