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Entries in Los Zetas (3)

Tuesday
Jun192012

Did Mexican Drug Cartel Fix Horse Race Result?

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The general manager of a U.S. horseracing track denied allegations Monday that the chief of Mexico's most violent drug cartel had fixed a $1 million race so his own horse would win.

According to two confidential FBI informants, Zetas leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, also known as "40," bragged that he had paid the gatekeepers at New Mexico's Ruidoso Downs $10,000 "to hold back the horses" competing against his own horse, Mr. Piloto, in the 2010 All American Futurity Race, which Mr. Piloto won.

Trevino Morales and 13 other defendants were indicted last week for allegedly laundering at least $20 million in cocaine profits through horse racing, breeding and training in the U.S. The informants' claims were part of an affidavit filed in support of a search warrant for an Oklahoma horse ranch allegedly owned by a Zetas front corporation.

Shaun Hubbard, general manager of Ruidoso Downs, adamantly denied the informants' alleged charge.

"We have looked at the videotape of the 2010 All American Futurity from every angle many times in recent days and can see no evidence of any horse being held or denied a fair start," said Hubbard in a statement to ABC News.

"We can find no evidence that there was any wrongdoing by our starting-gate crew," added Hubbard. "We also want to make it clear that we have totally cooperated with the FBI investigation and will continue to offer support for this investigation."

One of the confidential informants also alleged in the affidavit that his horses had competed against horses belonging to Omar Trevino Morales, AKA 42, in Mexico but, that 42's horses "would always win because of CI #1's knowledge that '42' would get upset at a loss and most likely kill his opponent as a result."

A third confidential informant allegedly stated that in 2007, in Monclova, Mexico, an individual named Triana had entered his own rooster in a cockfight against a rooster owned by 42. Triana's rooster won. "Approximately 15 days after the rooster fight, '42' had Triana killed because '42's' rooster had lost the fight," CI #3 allegedly said.

Miguel Angel Trevino and Omar Trevino allegedly laundered their drug profits through a horseracing operation run by a third brother, Jose, and his wife, according to the U.S. indictment handed down in Texas last week. Jose Trevino Morales, his wife and six other defendants were arrested. Miguel Angel and Omar remain at large in Mexico. The Drug Enforcement Administration has offered $5 million apiece for information leading to the capture of Miguel Angel and Omar.

The brothers, whose numeric aliases refer to their alleged rank within the Zetas at the time of the cartel's creation several years ago, are now allegedly top leaders of an organization that controls drug trafficking in the east and south of Mexico. Miguel, or "40," allegedly runs the Zetas along with "3," Heriberto Lazcano.

The Zetas began in 1999 when former members of the Mexican military signed on to work as security for the Gulf drug cartel. The Zetas went into business for themselves and are now at war with the Gulf Cartel. The Zetas are based in Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas state just across the border from Laredo, Texas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun132012

US Warns of 'Retaliation' Against American Tourists in Mexico

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- American travelers to Mexico should beware of possible violent retaliation for this week's arrest of alleged Zetas drug cartel associates and family members inside the U.S., the U.S. State Department has warned.

Though the warning does not specify which "Transnational Criminal Organization" might engage in "anti-American" violence, on Tuesday federal authorities arrested seven alleged associates of the powerful Zetas drug cartel in New Mexico and Oklahoma for allegedly laundering millions in drug profits through breeding and racing quarterhorses in the U.S. Those arrested included Jose Trevino Morales, the brother of Zetas leaders Miguel Angel and Oscar Omar Trevino Morales, who were also indicted but remain at large in Mexico.

According to the indictment, the Zetas cartel steered drug money to Jose Trevino Morales and his wife to purchase, train and race quarterhorses. Horses owned by the Zetas' alleged front companies competed at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico and won lucrative races, including the $1 million All American Futurity in 2010. Some of the horses had the word "cartel" in their names, such as Morning Cartel and Coronita Cartel.

The travel warning issued Tuesday, the day of the arrests and the unsealing of the indictment, urges U.S. citizens in Mexico to be on guard. "Given the history and resources of this violent TCO, the U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to maintain a low profile and a heightened sense of awareness."

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales and his brother Oscar Omar, who go by the names 40 and 42, which refer to their alleged rank within the Zetas at the time of the cartel's creation several years ago, are now allegedly top leaders of an organization that controls drug trafficking in the east and south of Mexico.

The Zetas began in 1999 when former members of the Mexican military signed on to work as security for the Gulf drug cartel. The Zetas went into business for themselves and are now at war with the Gulf Cartel. They are based in Nuevo Laredo, which is in Tamaulipas state just across the border from Laredo, Texas.

The U.S. State Department issued a Travel Warning about Tamaulipas in February, and on Tuesday noted that it "continues to advise U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to the state of Tamaulipas."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar262012

Soldier Charged in Drug Running, Murder for Hire

Colorado County Sheriff's Office(WASHINGTON) -- A lieutenant in the U.S. Army allegedly was willing to work with drug runners and to execute a murder-for-hire plot, according to Justice Department officials.

The Justice Department on Monday announced charges against Kevin D. Corley, who, during much of the alleged plot, was a first lieutenant in the Army and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

Federal prosecutors say they became aware of Corley in January 2011 after an associate of his allegedly told DEA agents posing as members of the Los Zetas Cartel "about a friend in the military who could provide military weapons to them."

"The agents were later introduced to Corley, who allegedly identified himself as an active duty officer in the Army responsible for training soldiers," a Justice Department release said. "He offered to provide tactical training for cartel members and to purchase weapons for the cartel under his name."

Authorities claim Corley began to discuss military tactics and even mailed operatives an official Army book on the subject. He allegedly said that for a fee he could could train 40 cartel members in two weeks.

The topic then supposedly turned to the subject of a plan to "raid a ranch where 20 kilograms of stolen cocaine were being kept by rival cartel members."

"Corley confirmed he would conduct the contract killing with a small team, at a minimum comprised of himself and another person who he described as an active duty soldier with whom he had already consulted," prosecutors say.

According to the complaint, Corley agreed to perform the contract killing and retrieve the 20 kilograms of cocaine in exchange for $50,000 and five kilograms of cocaine. He allegedly offered to refund the money if the victim survived and agreed to provide security for marijuana shipments in the United States.

"On March 5, 2012, Corley delivered two AR-15 assault rifles with scopes, an airsoft assault rifle, five allegedly stolen ballistic vests and other miscellaneous equipment to an undercover agent in Colorado Springs, in exchange for $10,000," prosecutors said in a statement.

"At the meeting, Corley and the undercover agent allegedly again discussed the contract killing and the retrieval of the cocaine, which was to occur on March 24, 2012," the complaint said. "Corley allegedly stated he had purchased a new Ka-Bar knife to carve a 'Z' into the victim's chest and was planning on buying a hatchet to dismember the body."

The story ends on March 24, when Corley and two other suspects allegedly traveled to Laredo and met with undercover agents, at which time they discussed the location of the intended victim, the logistics of performing the contract kill and their respective roles.

The three were arrested, during which time a fourth suspect was shot and killed, agents say.

The three are charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine; use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking or violent crime; and conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio