Oklahoma horse ranch called a front for Mexican drug cartel

Feds say millions of dollars in drug money went to finance a horse racing operation based near Lexington, OK.
by Nolan Clay Modified: June 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm •  Published: June 12, 2012
Advertisement
;

photo - In this photo taken Sept. 6, 2010, owner Jose Trevino Morales, center, acknowledges the crowd as he his joined by well-wishers and the trophy after Mr. Piloto won the All-American Futurity horse race at Ruidoso Downs, N.M. (AP Photo/The El Paso Times, Rudy Gutierrez)
In this photo taken Sept. 6, 2010, owner Jose Trevino Morales, center, acknowledges the crowd as he his joined by well-wishers and the trophy after Mr. Piloto won the All-American Futurity horse race at Ruidoso Downs, N.M. (AP Photo/The El Paso Times, Rudy Gutierrez)

A powerful Mexican drug cartel — infamous for beheadings and other ruthless acts — used millions of dollars from illegal drug sales to finance a horse racing operation based out of a ranch in southern Oklahoma, federal authorities allege.

Federal agents Tuesday morning raided the quarter horse ranch, Zule Farms, near Lexington, and arrested ranch owner Jose Trevino Morales, 45, and his wife, Zulema Trevino, 38.

A federal grand jury in Texas indicted them and 13 others May 30 on a money-laundering conspiracy charge. The indictment was partially unsealed Tuesday.

Jose Trevino was identified in the indictment as the older brother of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, one of the top two leaders of Los Zetas drug cartel, and Oscar Omar Trevino Morales, another leader of cartel.

“It was the object of the conspiracy to launder U.S. currency gained from the sale of illegal controlled substances by Los Zetas to purchase, breed, train and race quarter horses in the United States and Mexico,” the grand jury alleged in the indictment.

“The Los Zetas Drug Cartel is a powerful drug organization operating out of Mexico which funnels thousands of kilos of cocaine and other narcotics into the United States each year,” grand jurors alleged. “The huge-scale drug trafficking of this organization generates multimillion dollar revenues. ... Miguel and Oscar Trevino ... would direct portions of the bulk cash derived from the sale of illegal narcotics to their brother ... and his wife ... for the purchase, training, breeding and racing of quarter horses in the United States.

“Jose Trevino and his wife ... Zulema Trevino, created Tremor Enterprises LLC, 66 Land LLC and Zule Farms LLC ... for the purpose of promoting the money-laundering activities,” the grand jury alleged.

The indictment calls Tremor Enterprises LLC, 66 Land LLC and Zule Farms “front companies.”

New Mexico raid

Agents also raided the famed Ruidoso Downs racetrack in New Mexico. Five other arrests were made Tuesday in the case, in Los Angeles, Ruidoso, N.M., and Austin, Texas.

Agents did not apprehend Miguel Trevino and Oscar Trevino, who are believed to be in Mexico.

“This case is a prime example of the ability of Mexican drug cartels to establish footholds in legitimate U.S. industries and highlights the serious threat money laundering causes to our financial system,” said Richard Weber, chief of the Internal Revenue Service criminal investigations.

Continue reading this story on the...

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
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,...
+ show more


AT A GLANCE

Who was indicted

Here are the names of 14 people indicted in a money-laundering conspiracy case. The name of a final defendant has not been revealed.

• Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, 38, of Mexico

• Oscar Omar Trevino Morales, 36, of Mexico

• Jose Trevino Morales, 45, of Oklahoma

• Zulema Trevino 38, of Oklahoma

• Fernando Solis Garcia, 29

• Carlos Miguel Nayen Borbolla, 26

• Adan Farias, 32

• Felipe Alejandro Quintero, 28

• Eusevio Maldonado Huitron, 48

• Raul Ramirez, 20, of El Paso, Texas

• Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa, 51, of Mexico

• Victor Manuel Lopez, 31, of Mexico

• Sergio Rogelio Guerrero Rincon, 40, of Mexico

• Luis Gerardo Aguirre, 35, of Mexico

Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Lawsuit: Black donor's sperm mistakenly sent to same-sex white couple
  2. 2
    It looks like a GOP wave; the question is how far it goes
  3. 3
    Patient in isolation in Hawaii; officials say Ebola a possibility
  4. 4
    Ali MacGraw Discloses The Mistake That Ended All 3 Of Her Marriages
  5. 5
    Grand jury considering the Ferguson shooting is being investigated for misconduct
+ show more