Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Treviño 20 Yrs: Zetas Money Laundering Trial Sentencing Recap and History

Havana and Chivis for Borderland Beat
NOTE: After a long dragged out day only three of the defendants were sentenced
see below for backstory information and sentences.

José Treviño  represented by Christie Williams and David Finn
José Treviño defense attorney David Finn asserted that his client is a “genuine horseman” who was targeted by the government because of who his brothers are.  "This isn't some front," Finn said. "It's a legitimate, real business, built on the sweat of my client and his wife."

José Treviño is the older brother of Miguel Treviño aka ‘40’, the recently captured premier leader of Los Zetas cartel. It was 40’s passion of horse racing that generated the horse racing based money laundering scheme that funneled 1M per month, of drug money, to purchase quarter horses.  

Brother Omar aka 42 is another high level leader of the cartel.  José was reported being a reluctant recruit into the family business.  Yet, there is no doubt how deeply he emerged and his family became involved in the scheme.  The amount of evidence pulled from his home in Balch Springs alone was enough to seal his fate.
José and his wife Zuelma, had a combined of 60-70,000 USD annual income in the years directly prior to his involvement with the scheme.  He a brick layer, she an office clerk.  Brother Omar told CI #1 that José was stunned at the amount of money he was making in the quarter horse business.

From the search warrant-click to enlarge

And this statement from confidential informant #1:

Sentence: José Treviño was sentenced to 240 months-20 Years, 3 years probation

Eusevio "Chevo" Maldonado Huitron represented by Richard D Esper

"Chevo" made his success and solid reputation as a much sought after horse trainer.  He acquired the skills from his father, while the family was still living in their home town of ejido primero de mayo, in northern Coahuila, it became his passion, a passion he brought and developed in Texas, when the family migrated north.  Read more on the family history on our post from yesterday.

“Chevo” Huitron, is the brother of Jesse Huitron, Jesse was the only defendant found “not guilty”.  It was a great conflict of emotions for Chevo’s brother Jesse on May 9th of this year, elated for his acquittal, but grieving for his brother who was convicted.  Chevo who was out on bond was immediately taken into custody. Jesse and his niece expressed their feelings of injustice, and reflected from the fact that  Paul Jones and Tyler Graham, both "white" horse trainers were free of prosecution.  

Jesse insistence that his brother is innocent may not just be brotherly allegiance.  When reading documents related to the case one is hard pressed to find hard evidence against the man.   Reading the search warrant and supporting ‘facts’, his name doesn’t even appear connected to the money laundering, on one page his name is mentioned in connection with informant  #1 saying he recognized a photo of Chevo. 
Statements revealed  Chevo, at any given time, had 20-30 horses belonging to ‘40’, but Chevo was a horse trainer.  The only direct accusation found is a suspicious depositing of funds that he and his brother Jesse were making that may be structured deposits, a way to launder money, but both men long operated business that would have frequent deposits.  In total it only amounted to an average of 125k per year for each defendant over a two year period. I don’t think Chevo will get a heavy sentence.  Whatever happens, his training days are over in the U.S.  He was convicted on one count of money laundering.
Sentence:  Chevo was sentenced to 97 months
Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa represented by Mike DeGeurin, Andres Sanchez-Ross, and John Parras

In his closing argument DeGeurin pointed out  that Francisco was wealthy in his own right;  Colorado “Cessa grew up in Tuxpan, Veracruz and has a environment remediation business. He is a very successful business man.

70-90 million. Witness Barerra from UBS one of Cessa's financial advisors was not aware of his client’s interest in quarter horses and didn't know any of Cessa's money came from or went to horses.”
“And the government alleges a conspiracy to launder drug money.”
But then there is testimony of Jesús Enrique Rejón Aguilar aka “El Mamito” or Z-7.

Rejón spoke to the court of Pancho Colorado and his relationship with Z-14. He said, "They were compadres and Z-14 helped him with his company in Veracruz." He was at the investigation/reorganization meeting at Colorado's ranch after the death of Z-14. Rejón testified that he attended many match races, "maybe 80" with 40 and 42 in Mexico, and Colorado Cessa was there sometimes, too. "He bought horses for them."

This is what lead Prosecuting attorney Douglas Gardner contended in his opening argument; “Mexican businessman, Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa, bought horses for the Zetas through his company, also alleged of being a front company for the Zetas.”
José Carlos Hinajosa was a law clerk at the Federal Attorney’s office in San Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, before becoming the account for Los Zetas. He testified Thursday that in 2004-2005, Francisco Colorado Cessa syphoned millions of dollars of drug money that was allocated for the horse racing operation and 12 million dollars to the PRI political party’s gubernatorial campaign in Veracruz.  

Although not named, the governor was Fidel Herrera Beltrán.  He denies this to be fact, but the FBI suspected Francisco was giving money to Herrera. 

Once the candidate won, the majority of contracts awarded for Pemex and Petróleos Mexicanos was given to ADT, Francisco’s company.  Francisco was the liaison between the governor and a former Zetas leader, probably Heriberto Lazcano who is now deceased.  The gubernatorial victory assured free passage for the Zetas trafficking drugs through Veracruz.

A financial spread sheet of Colorado Cessa's horse purchases found on Fernando Garcia's computer representing 1.4M spent at horse a horse auction, which exhibited payments from ADT. (Colorado Cessa’s company)

Documents reflect Colorado Cessa purchasing 121 horses. Forty-one of the horses were in his name and boarded at Southwest Stallion or at trainer Paul Joan’s facility.
Sentence: Cessa's was sentenced to  240 months
Fernando Solis Garcia represented by Guy L. Womack and Geoff L. Womack
Womack: “When the government is involved in a big investigation they use witnesses they have promised immunity. So the jury always have to take that testimony with caution. If I tortured people, I wouldn't hesitate to lie if it helped to reduce my sentence.”

“It doesn't affect my client, Fernando Solis Garcia because no one said Fernando did anything wrong.”

Cuellar said los Zetas would use big businessmen. “Fernando isn't a big businessman. The Zetas killed Villareal because he knew too much and were afraid he would testify. Fernando never testified. Cuellar didn't know Fernando or Colorado and we saw the Mr. Piloto race that Cuellar said that he helped fix the race. We saw the race here and know that isn't true.”

“The truth is that on September 6, 2010 Mr. Piloto won the American Futurity, the only big race he won. The truth is Mr. Piloto is worth more as a stud because of his good genetics.”Mamito was Z-7, in Mexico they caught him and extradited him for killing Jaime Zapata. (Mamito testified he was not given any consideration in exchange for his testimony)
"In this trial, only the reliable witnesses knew Fernando Solis Garcia."
If you are trying to make it in the horse business, like Jose Trevino was, you would want Fernando Solis Garcia to find you horses. You would want Fernando Solis Garcia to be your agent. You would want Fernando Solis Garcia to train your horse.”
“In 2010 Fernando Garcia met Jose Trevino in 2010 about Mr. Piloto. He trained him in New Mexico near Riodoso beginning in July”

Solis Garcia was convicted of money laundering, using the structured deposits method.  One day spending six hours driving to nine separate banks depositing payments and using his company to conceal ownership of horses by cartel members.  There wasn't an abundance of evidence against the defendant, it remains to be seen if Judge SParks sees it He broke down in sobs when the verdict was read that convicted him.
Sentence: Solis sentenced to 140 months
Raul Ramirez represented by Robert R. Harris

The 21 year old Ramirez entered plea of guilty to related charges prior to jury selection
A little over a year ago, the then 20 year old Ramirez was arrested  while trying to enter the United States from Mexico through the international crossroads of Fabens, Texas.
Ramirez, from El Paso Texas, was accused of bidding on quarter horses for the Treviño's on behalf of shell companies meant to hide the horses' true ownership. He is charged with a single count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. Ramirez faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Against prosecutors request, Ramirez was granted bail.  Bail was set at 10,000 dollars. 
Sentence:  12 Months and 1 day for Ramirez-for structured funds-3000 dollars fine and 3 years probation, no forfeiture of property
Ramirez entered plea of guilty to related charges prior to jury selection

All smiles are the lead federal attorney Douglas Gardner and his team representing the United States


  1. Finn is full of hollow words. Nice try but jury and judge thought otherwise about your client. Now go roll around in your retainer blood money.

    1. Ahahahahaaa even the horse jockey is facing 20 years......a short guy with a short least he will be able to continue riding......riding Bubba's horse cock.

  2. The dismantling of Z40 quarter race horse money laundering scheme might have signaled the beginning of the end of Z40's narco empire. Along with the impending end of Humberto Moreira's governorship of Coahuila back in 2011; his capture by Marines on the border of N.Leon - Tamps. ; and the sentencing of his brother in horse racing money laundering scheme are causing that to come to fruition. Z40 dream of a narco cartel empire is over.

  3. as for time served and time off for good behavior, in the federal system the max is 47 days per year shaved off not only for good behavior but specific good behavior tiers such as education, GED etc. The standards say 54 days but the true calculation is 47.

    a twenty year sentence=17.5 years incarcerated

    There is a FEDCURE proposal that if implemented would give about 1/3 off for good behavior, publications like WSJ has backed the proposal. It cites overcrowding, yet many federal prisons have had a drop in inmate incarceration, and others increased. Easy fix, spread them around, which is what I thought they did.

  4. C.D.G bunch of cowards and Zetas bunch of idiots ! C.D.S Riffa !
    C.D.S and Knigths Templar rule Mexico !

    1. They are all murdering losers you moron. Maybe you need to stop smoking. You have no brain cells left.

    2. Every country murders you moron ,every time you pay taxes you support murder you wimp

  5. Why does it say Chevo was sentenced to 20 years when it says his sentencing is tomorrow?

  6. Sorry I misread...Jose Trevino got 20 years.

  7. Chivis what has happened to the Zetas organization since 40's capture?

  8. 9:05 because the sentencing is at the bottom of each profile chevo's says tomorrow at 9, but you are right its ambiguous, I wrote the backstory first and gave thoughts about sentencing I thought the follow up sentencing should follow not precede. I think of something.

    About Chevo...if you kknow a lot about him what are your guesses? I would think he will get the lowest sentence, I hope so. I thought Solis would be even lower though so who knows. The judge is a very thoughtful judge, but may be "over it"

    Tomorrow should be easier, mostly people that pled guilty already.

  9. Hey chivis is there any info regarding chapo isidro,rumor is dat chapo guzmans people killed him?

  10. Jtm to serve time in a us prison this calls for a 12 pack yea baby hope he gets beaten up and make him a sissy

  11. Mademoiselle chivita have u posted a Mexican cartel territory map 4 us bb fans lately? Would like 2 c 1 whenever u can princess

  12. It all went downhill for the Zs after they killed agent Zapata. Then it got worse when they killed the Coahuila governor's son. The Z leaders began to drop like flies.

  13. 2:04AM

    I have posted the latest one but it is now outdated as CT is now in 11 states.

    If you want the map, email me:

    and I will send it to you in doc. please write cartel map in subject line. I encrypt emails so you will have to answer a little question to access it. thanks

  14. 1:42AM

    I hear the rumor many times, but I don't believe it to be true. Remember what happened in Mty to his family? since then he has been laying low. If he was dead honestly we would know it. That is my thinking.

  15. Chivis what happened to his family in MTY?...

  16. 11:48AM

    Isidro was a shadow figure until the U.S. place him and his family on the kingpin list and sent out photos. It was discovered where he lived and what school his kids go to etc:

  17. 20 years is a JOKE, the sentences dolled out are BS ,just look at what Texas State courts do on a daily basis and compare it ti the half assed performance of the US Fed system which is typical for that system. These Criminals hit a home run !!

  18. El taliban and mamito,are they still friends on the same side? also what happened to lazca's money?and amao carrillo fuentes,what happened to his250 billion dollars? who gets to keep the money?amado's children should not be in the business at all anymore...

  19. So isidro is still alive right chivis?also there saying el cholo ivan has him so close to his hand to kill

  20. Chivis, can You Please update us site Carlos Nayen status. He was once of the maíz man in tus case althou there is very little inf about him. thank You


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