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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Laredo: Trial begins for pair accused in Zeta murder-for-hire scheme

Borderland Beat
The murder trial of two men alleged to be operating on behalf of the Zeta drug cartel began this morning in the 49th District Court.

Nicolas Reyes-Sanchez (above left) and Jose Roberto Obregon (above right) are accused of the Sept. 14, 2010 death of Fidencio Rios-Cardenas, 31, who was shot to death with a .9mm handgun outside his home on the 300 block of El Monte Loop in the north side of town.
The pair was arrested Nov. 9, 2011, and charged with capital murder and engaging in organized criminal activity, both first-degree felonies.

It is alleged that both were part of a group of six men who allegedly carried out a string of homicides for Los Zetas. Pablo “Panda” Cerda, 37, Rogelio Tijerina, 27, Antonio Cerda Jr., 41, and Rene Cruz III, 23, were also indicted in 2012 in connection with the killings.
 The prosecution called 13 witnesses to the stand, including Laredo police officers, investigators and the custodian of records.The officers testified about securing the crime scene, conducting interviews and recovering evidence the night of the incident and the days following. Two other witnesses who took the stand told jurors of hearing gunshots the night of the incident.
Obregon pleaded guilty in February, 2013 for a Zetas weapons trafficking operation.  Below is the DEA press release for that incident:

Last of Los Zetas Arms Traffickers ConvictedFEB 20 (LAREDO, Texas) – Jose Roberto Obregon, 29, of Laredo, has entered a plea of guilty for his role in a conspiracy to export weapons to Mexico destined for Los Zetas Drug Trafficking Organization, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Obregon, aka Minutitos, was set for trial next week, but at a status hearing in court today before U.S. District Court Judge Diana Saldana, he instead opted to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to export arms in violation of the Export Controls Act. The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation revealed that a Laredo based co-defendant associated with Los Zetas needed someone to transport weapons from the Dallas area to Laredo and then to the Republic of Mexico for ultimate delivery to Los Zetas Drug Trafficking Organization. 

 Otilo and Ranferi Osorio were identified as co-conspirators in the Dallas area who were to deliver the weapons to other co-conspirators for transportation to Laredo. Co-defendants Pablo Cerda, 36, Nicolas Sanchez-Reyes, aka “Nico”, 50, and Obregon, operated out of the Laredo area and were tasked with receiving the shipment of weapons in Laredo and arranging for their transportation to Mexico.

On Nov. 9, 2010, agents set up surveillance at the parking lot area of a Wal-Mart located near I-35 in Lancaster, at which time agents observed a tractor trailer driver meet with Ranferi and Otilio Osorio who arrived in a Ford Explorer. Two large duffel bags believed to contain weapons were removed from the Explorer and placed inside the tractor. Agents then the tractor-trailer. 
Obregon, Sanchez-Reyes and Cerda then coordinated the receipt of the weapons for ultimate transportation to Nuevo Laredo. Between Nov. 9 and 10, the men called each other regarding the logistics of the shipment and coordinated the delivery of the weapons in Laredo to another driver secured by Cerda who would transport the weapons to Mexico. 

On Nov. 9, Webb County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a traffic stop in Laredo of tractor trailer transporting the weapons. At that time, Sanchez-Reyes called the driver’s phone and a deputy answered the call. Unaware of the situation, Sanchez-Reyes said he was looking for the driver who was supposed to bring him something, at which time the deputy informed the driver could not talk.

After the stop, deputies located the two duffle bags and found 40 high-powered firearms consisting of various makes, models and calibers as well as 39 empty magazines. Agents then discovered that 37 of the 40 firearms recovered had obliterated serial numbers. The driver was arrested at the scene.
Co-defendants Otilo and Ranferi Osorio were indicted in Dallas and have since pleaded guilty and sentenced. Earlier this year, Cerda and Sanchez-Reyes entered their pleas of guilty to the charge of conspiracy to export arms. Cerda, Sanchez-Reyes and Obregon are in custody and will remain in custody until their sentencing which has been set for March 27, 2013. The three are also pending State Charges for capital murder and engaging in organized criminal activity in the 49th District Court of Webb County before State District Court Judge Joe Lopez.

Sources: Laredo Times and DEA


  1. pretty good work not guilty

  2. The 3 that have pending state charges of capital murder BUH BYE!! The state of texas gonna fry your ass! Reserve your room at huntsville!

  3. What a bunch of f$@%ing morons this isn't mexico. They will send you to prison until you die here. Good luck getting off with a wrip slap and a light sentence. Hope the cartel guys learned their lesson.

    1. If you get caught, there are many unsoved cases.

    2. @6:46p.m oh theyll get caught! It may take a minute but theyll get caught! Ive lived in texas and theyll hunt u down like a dog for a murder rap!

  4. I'm alway curious at what goes on in store parking lots. Yesterday I say a Ford pickup, pretty nice by the way, cruising the parking lot of a local HEB here in th ed RGV. As I was waiting for my wife to come out of store a dodge car pulled up next to it. The driver of the car got out with a bag in his hand and got in the pick up. I could clearly see them count money and exchange package. In broad daylight. I just wonder how much money was involved. 5 min is what it took. Poof they were gone

  5. I have seen a lot of transactions going on at local grocery stores. One guy gets in. A vehicle with a package. Money gets counted and 5 min or less they are gone. Out of RGV

  6. Should we be surprised that the Zetas and probably other cartels have assassin teams , here in the USA? No. They kept a low profile for years, and money requires security. The AFO sicarios also consisted of Logan Heights gang members. I don't think the cartels would pull a 3 hour shootout in the US. They aren't that stupid. And yet much of the leadership are serious psychopaths high on their own product.



  7. If they get convicted of capital murder most likely they'll get the death penalty.

  8. I hope these guys are arrested.

  9. Whenever i hear of zorraz suffering i smile n grab a beer yesssss!!!!!!!

  10. The new face of America.

  11. What a bunch of f$@%ing morons this isn't mexico. They will send you to prison until you die here

    Thank god and a lot people who make it like this.We all have to be accountable for behavior that cannot be tolerated.

  12. at 3:54 AM
    "The new face of America"
    Not if we all don't allow it to happen,we are all culpable for our societies.
    Who else if not the people?

  13. New face of america? Not if they get popped first by a conceal carry person! Theres alot more of those than u know in america! In mexico you know who will likely shoot you i.e cartels, military but in america it cud be a nurse a grandma anyone as alot of ppl of all walks of life carry guns especially in the south! Its almost a rite of passage! Not sayin it dont happen but it makes the odds alot better for them to be shot at back!


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