Tuesday, April 8, 2014

El Taliban Pleads Guilty in US Federal Court



A former leader of a Los Zetas splinter group pleaded guilty Monday in Texas to federal drug and money laundering charges in a deal prosecutors hope could help with other ongoing investigations.

Prosecutors said Ivan Velazquez Caballero, better known as "el Taliban," was a regional boss for the Zetas, the violent former enforcement arm of the Gulf cartel. He pleaded guilty to one count each of drug trafficking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy stemming from an indictment that accuses dozens of people of smuggling cocaine and marijuana into the U.S.

The charges carry a maximum of life in prison, but prosecutors offered him credit that could result in a shorter sentence in exchange for his plea. Investigators believe that Caballero was at one time responsible for the group's money laundering, which could make him an important source in other cases.

Sentencing is set for July 18.

The criminal acts underlying the charges as occurring between 2001 and 2008, when the Zetas were still part of the Gulf cartel, according to assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno. At the time, the Gulf cartel controlled the eastern end of the Texas-Mexico border. The Zetas eventually spun off into a separate criminal enterprise and finally split from the cartel in early 2010.

Velazquez Caballero was allegedly fighting with the Zetas' leader, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, when he was captured by Mexican marines in 2012. Velazquez Caballero was extradited to the U.S. in November to face the charges from a 2010 indictment. Trevino Morales, arrested in Mexico in July, was also named in that indictment.

Velazquez Caballero controlled the smuggling in Mexico's Zacatecas and Aguascalientes states, as well as parts of Guanajuato and Coahuila states, Mexican Navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara said at the time of his arrest. At one time he was also allegedly responsible for the group's money laundering.
During Monday's hearing, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez told Velazquez Caballero that providing substantial assistance to the government could help him get below a 10-year mandatory minimum
sentence. The judge will have the final say his sentence.

However, University of Texas-Brownsville government professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, who isn't involved in the case but studies the Zetas, doubted that Velazquez Caballero would have much valuable information. She noted that he has been in U.S. custody for nearly two years and that his knowledge likely doesn't reach all corners of the Zetas because it's such a diversified organization.

Correa-Cabrera said the Zetas is essentially a multinational corporation with diverse revenue streams that include extortion, kidnapping, music and film piracy, as well as mining, stolen gasoline and natural gas. And with its recognized leaders either dead or in custody, the Zetas revenue streams continue under a lower profile.

"They already created their brand and now they are silently continuing to do what they know how to do," she said.
Moreno, the assistant U.S. attorney, said Velazquez Caballero had been involved in the smuggling of cocaine and marijuana into the U.S. and laundering the cartel's drug revenue. The indictment — which charged 34 people — said hundreds of loads of cocaine and marijuana were smuggled into Laredo, Texas, and then on to Dallas between 2001 and 2008.

Moreno also said Monday that a government witness had remembered seeing Velazquez Caballero at a Zetas training camp near the Texas town of San Fernando, about two hours south of Brownsville, in 2005. At previous trials, witnesses have testified that Zeta recruits were taught at the camp to raid houses and kill.

Velazquez Caballero, wearing a beige t-shirt and pants and salt-and-pepper beard, gave only short answers when asked direct questions by the judge and otherwise did not speak during the hearing.
A month after Velazquez Caballero was captured, Mexican authorities killed Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano. It is believed that Omar Trevino Morales has been running the organization since the arrest of his brother Miguel Angel Trevino Morales last year.

Velazquez Caballero is also facing federal drug and money laundering charges in Sherman in the Eastern District of Texas. The trial in that case is scheduled for May.

Source: Star-Telegram

22 comments:

  1. I also doubt that this rats has any pertinent or currently useful information that is worth any reduction of his sentence. Why would the prosecutors begin with the minimum possible sentance and go down from there? How about seeking the maximum sentance, then negotiate a few years less for complete cooperation. What about the U.S. citizens who have had their neighborhoods blighted by the crime related to the poison that these rats distribute? Our children are under attack by these drug networks. Our legislators give the prosecutors broad powers precisely so that they can slam the worst of the worst offenders. El Taliban' is among the worst.

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  2. ... and the flow of drugs is so great that the US market is saturated ... drugs are cheaper, stronger and more plentiful than ever before ... meanwhile the streets and fields are full of blood - albeit mostly south of the border which is inhabited by brown people - whilst the politicians, the police and military comanders, the lawyers, arms dealers and security firms are getting rich ... all in the name of public health ...

    Well if you havent figured it out yet: its a scam!!! The state sponsored propaganda in the hands of a few well connected "capitalists" spews out the propaganda making us believe that it is the right thing to do and that victory is close ... well guess what: since your childhood you are soaking up lies wrapped in little pink envelopes.

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  3. He only getting 10 years pretty easy time

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  4. What I want to know is why El Taliban got extradited and they can't extradite El Lava Carros z40

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    1. That's the billion dollar question.....
      Z40's sittin' pretty, laughing up his sleeve, living la vida loca in jail-in Mexico. The man is a hideous example of a humanoid, a butcher, rapist, torturer, narco hp total, and the DEA in-house pet sapo. Z40 brought nothing but horror to people's lives. And, yet, it is Caro Quintero the DEA & hp gringos herald as the biggest danger to Mexico. No Joda!

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    2. He surrounded by enemies in jail aint no easy time.why shld we in usa waste millions on a trial n milions to jail these scumbags.leave em in mexico n hope someone puts a shank in their ass.

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  5. I remember reading about that whole situation when Taliban and Miguel Trevino were fighting. It was really scary to read about, Trevino was so vicious and crazy...

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  6. If he's anything like other narcos who are rich enough, this means he'll get 10-15 years in a luxurious cell, after which he'll get given a police escorted ride to the bank vault where he kept all his money. Then he'll retire comfortably, or not.

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    1. Ask that arellano felix dude that got killed not to long ago if "retirement"is confortable for druglords in mexico?

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  7. The zetas leaders are killed or captured whats new. If the cartel leaders don't get it yet then let me spell it out.

    YOU CAN NOT WIN. THE LAWS AND PEOPLE OF MEXICO ARE AGAINST YOU.

    Even if a cartel member makes a lot of money its useless because they can never revel in their own glory because then they will be a huge target. So why not make money the legit way and then brag about it on the t.v. like the celebrities do.

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  8. Let's Make A Deal! Buy a vowel for 10 years! Pick Door #3 For Money Laundry! These "smoke and mirrors" shows are such lame acts, only made worse by lawyers & corporate media spin.

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    1. What are you talking about

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    2. "Game Show" Justice. Don't forget: Los Zetas were los gringos at the U.S. State Department's deelpy fu*cked up idea to begin with--then, los z turn around, bite the hand that feeds them, seemingly.

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  9. Who would lead the Revolution? Need a leader in Tamps. Pena will do nothing. Rise and lets take Mexico Back

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    1. As weak as the cdg n zs are right now tamaulipas is way more under their thumb that michoacan ever was unfer la familia or the cts.I dont think it wld be so easy to free tamaulipas unfortunately for the people in that state.

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    2. If people rise up in nuevo Laredo.it would take about three days to get the zetas out.

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  10. Putting together a death penalty case against z40.
    Mamito and now Taliban ready to testify. 2 top dogs who planned and conspired and murdered with Angel Trevino for years!
    There will be others but these 2 are top notch rats!!!

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    Replies
    1. Mexico has no death penalty and our extradition treaty waives the death penalty in exchange for the accused to be extradited to the USA. So...get over it.

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    2. The only ones to get the death penalty will be the snitches since Mexico has no death penalty and will refuse extradition unless the USA or the state requesting the extradition waives the death penalty.

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    3. This is why "el tiro de la gracia" has its uses.

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  11. el taliban deserves a lot of respect and gratitude for splitting up the zetas and leading to the capture of the walking barrel of rotten menudo, he saw z40 for the con he was, stealing all the money and not paying the tamalerazz, paleterazz and carwazzherzz, like the texas wetbacks that make it to "supervisors", all of them steal from the field hands, thinking their divine status makes them so deserving.
    the ruptures are there to stay, el lazca will not resuscitate, and z40 will never again be out on the streets, i don't think anybody will support the treviños like stupid loyal lazca did, because everybody has seen the consequences of trusting a hungry judas like z40 and all of his motherfucking family, no more credit, those that remain with the zetas, are there just hoping to not lose the rest of their investment, and they will lose it anyways, that is how it works, you work and work for promises, and that is all you get from that stupid proposition, if you get out alive...
    nothing better than taking the bigwigs down with you, for that taliban, in spite of your having been an asshole all your motherfucking life...
    THANKS A LOT, TALIBAN !!!

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  12. Why wouldn't they make Taliban into a state witness like Sammy Gravano.

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