First you get the coke then you get the horses and then you get the women. The Zeta drug cartel thought they came up with a brilliant way to launder money from drug proceeds until it turned out that it wasn’t.
Jose Treviño Morales and three others are going on trial in Austin, TX starting today. They allegedly set up a horse breeding and racing business that allowed them to launder millions of dollars in drug proceeds.
Law enforcement officials claim the money came from Trevino’s younger brother, Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, who happens to be head of the Mexican Zeta cartel. He is considered the chief enforcer of the gang which was started by elite Army officers who deserted to work for the Gulf cartel before breaking out on their own. He’s known to heart chopping up his victims while they’re still alive. His favorite fatality is the Guiso which involves putting a victim into an oil drum and burning him alive.
The Zetas spent over $1 million a month on horses. They continued to do so until federal authorities were tipped off by the $1 million purchase of a broodmare which is a female horse used for breeding. Others in the business noted that they were spending big and winning races at a time when the industry was struggling.
The Treviño brothers devised an elaborate scheme in which Mexican businessmen paid for the horses — some of them worth hundreds of thousands of dollars — from their own bank accounts so the purchases would appear legitimate, according to the affidavit. The Zetas would later reimburse the businessmen, and the horses’ ownership would be transferred to Tremor. The brothers’ activities on either side of the border made for a stark contrast. One week in May began with the authorities pointing fingers at Miguel Ángel Treviño for dumping the bodies of 49 people — without heads, hands or feet — in garbage bags along a busy highway in northern Mexico. The week concluded with José Treviño fielding four Tremor horses in a prestigious race at Los Alamitos Race Course, near Los Angeles.
Their horses appeared to win fair and square unlike in Mexico where they would be allowed to win by other owners who feared the wrath of Treviño if they lost.
The feds might also have been tipped off by the Zetas baller style.They would buy horses with duffel bags full of cash. The horses had names such as Number One Cartel, Big Daddy Cartel, Coronita Cartel and Mr. Ease Cartel. Their stables were named Zetas Stables. Jose was obviously the Roger Clinton or Billy Carter of the family. “Mama says give him a job. There’s no way he can mess this up. Just buy the horses and race them.”
The Zeta horse breeding operation sounds like something No Limit or Cash Money rappers would do if they actually followed through on their poorly laid out plans instead of fading away or going to prison for life.
The horses were auctioned off after the Zeta assets were seized. All 450 were purchased including one by San Antonio Spurs owners Peter and Julianna Holt. Coach Pop has already benched A Dash of Sweet Heat until Game 3 of their first round series against the Lakers. It’s unclear whether Ikea or Tesco purchased one as well. It’s more likely they went with Arabber cart horses which are more tender from walking the cobblestone streets of Baltimore.