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Feds Indict Cartel Horse Racing Team, Allege Millions in Laundering Charges

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 4:10pm

Seven arrests were made in connection to a cartel money-laundering conspiracy involving the purchasing, training, breeding and racing of American horses in the United States using drug money, according to a federal indictment.

Los Zetas leader Miguel Angel Trevino-Morales, 38, and his brothers Oscar Omar Trevino-Morales, 36 and Jose Trevino-Morales, 45 were among the 14 indicted.

The arrests involved one brother, Jose Trevino-Morales and his wife Zulema Trevino, 38, in Lexington, Oklahoma. Remaining arrests were scattered between Ruidoso, NM, Los Angeles, Calif. and Austin, Texas.

All seven arrested remain in federal custody.

Two of the Los Zetas brothers, Miguel Angel and Oscar Omar are believed to be in Mexico.

“The allegations in this indictment, if proven, would document yet another example of the corrupting influence of Mexican drug cartels within the United States, facilitated by the enormous profits generated by the illicit drug trade,” stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman.

The indictment states that the Los Zetas are a powerful drug cartel in Mexico generating multi-million dollar revenues from drug sales. Since 2008, according to the document, Miguel and Oscar Trevino Morales would direct portions of the bulk cash generated from the sale of illegal narcotics to Jose and Zulema Trevino for purchasing, training, breeding and racing American quarter horses in the United States. The indictment identifies millions of dollars worth of transactions in New Mexico, Oklahoma, California and Texas involving a large number of quarter horses. Jose Trevino, Zulema Trevino and others used “front” companies to conceal and disguise the true ownership of the quarter horses.

Other individuals indicted, but not yet arrested, include: Raul Ramirez, 20 of El Paso, Texas; Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa, 51 of Veracruz, Mexico;Victor Manuel Lopez, 31 of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; Sergio Rogelio Guerrero Rincon, 40, of Mexico; and Luis Gerardo Aguirre of Mexico, 35.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of numerous quarter horses, to include:
-Tempting Dash, winner of the Dash for Cash at Lone Star Park race track in Grand Prairie, Texas, on October 24, 2009

-Mr. Piloto, $1 million All American Futurity winner at Ruidoso Downs on Labor Day, 2010

-Dashin Follies; Coronita Cartel; and, Separate Fire

Furthermore, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of various equipment in Texas and Oklahoma in addition to funds contained in three bank accounts allegedly used in the defendants’ scheme. The indictment also seeks a monetary judgment in the amount of $20 million representing the amount of money derived from the defendants’ scheme.

Upon conviction, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison. All of the defendants remain in federal custody at this time.

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