Federal government plans November sale of 379 horses

The federal government intends to put 379 horses up for auction Nov. 1-3 in Oklahoma City. Prosecutors claim the horses were bought with drug money from a violent Mexican drug cartel.
by Nolan Clay Modified: October 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm •  Published: October 8, 2012

Most of the quarter horses linked by the federal government to a violent Mexican drug cartel will be sold in November in Oklahoma City.

A federal grand jury May 30 alleged that two leaders of the powerful Los Zetas drug cartel in Mexico sent millions of dollars in drug funds to their older brother in the United States to purchase, breed, train and race quarter horses.

FBI agents in June arrested the older brother, Jose Trevino Morales, 45, and his wife, Zulema Trevino, at their horse ranch in Lexington. They are awaiting trial, along with seven others accused of involvement in the $20 million money-laundering conspiracy.

Prosecutors on Friday told the trial judge that 379 horses linked to the conspiracy will be sold at auction Nov. 1-3 at Heritage Place in southwest Oklahoma City. The Internal Revenue Service is handling the preparations to auction the horses.

The horses to be sold include many with colorful names such as Coronita Cartel, One Diamond, Merry For Money and Break Out The Bullet.

Prosecutors told the judge the Internal Revenue Service already has sold 99 broodmares because the Lexington ranch was overcrowded.

The IRS received about $32,175 in gross proceeds from the sale of the broodmares Sept. 11, prosecutors reported.

Prosecutors also reported 20 horses, mostly foals, died of natural causes between June 29 and Sept. 10.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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