Photo: U.S. Dept of Treasury
Four Austin businessmen have been convicted of conspiring to laundering narco money for the vicious Mexican cartel Los Zetas. Jose Trevino Morales, 46, Francisco Colorado Cessa, 52, Fernando Solis Garcia, 30, and Eusevio Maldonado Hiutron, 49, were convicted of washing Los Zeta money by operating a prestigous American quarter horse business in Oklahoma and Texas.
Jose Trevino Morales, the ringleader, is the brother of Los Zeta leaders: Miguel Trevino Morales and Oscar Omar Trevino Morales. The case highlighted the infiltration of Mexican cartels in the U.S.
Los Zeta drug profits were used to purchase, train, breed and race American quarter horses throughout the U.S. with much success. The illegal quarter horse operation known as Tremor Enterprises conducted millions of dollars in horse sale transactions often hiding the true ownership of the horses. In addition the Trevino operation won over $2.5 million in prize money for their quarter horses in just three years of showing them.
The U.S. government seized over 500 prized horses when Trevino Morales and his group were arrested in June 2012. The government thus far has sold 400 quarter horses for nearly $9 million. Other assets including prize horses are due to be auctioned later this summer.
“This trial documented the violence, brutality, and corruption generated by Mexican drug cartels—in this case the particularly ruthless Los Zetas. The government was able to show how the corrupting influence of drug cartels has extended into the United States with cartel bosses using an otherwise legitimate domestic industry to launder proceeds from drug trafficking and other crimes,” stated U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman.