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

Friday, May 8, 2020

Two Major Gulf Cartel Meth Coordinators Arrested at Texas Border Crossing

"MX" for Borderland Beat
Marco Antonio Vela-Cardenas ("Marquitos")
Individuals allegedly linked to the Gulf Cartel in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, were arrested and charged in a narcotics smuggling investigation stemming from a February 2019 traffic stop in the Corpus Christi area in South Texas.

A criminal complaint filed against Marco Antonio Vela-Cardenas and Jose Luis Cardenas-Hernandez, both citizens of Mexico, stated the two men were identified as major methamphetamine coordinators working in Matamoros on behalf of the Gulf Cartel last year.

Both men were detained on May 2 after crossing into the United States pending their illegal status in the country, according to the complaint.

On Feb. 22, 2019, agents working an ongoing joint Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, and FBI investigation were monitoring an unknown subject later identified as Carlos Cruz-Longoria headed toward the Sarita Checkpoint. Law enforcement believed him to be smuggling narcotics based on previous information and traffic patterns, the complaint stated.

According to the affidavit, Robstown police officers stopped the vehicle and received consent to search the pickup truck. Upon inspection, they discovered a tank with a false bottom containing multiple bundles of suspected narcotics later confirmed to be 18.5 kilograms of methamphetamine. The complaint stated that agents made contact with Vela-Cardenas and Cardenas-Hernandez on May 2 after receiving notification of their crossing.

During post-Miranda interviews, both men admitted to conspiring together, alongside others, to utilize the Cruz-Longoria’s transportation methods to move approximately 15-20 kilograms of methamphetamine at a time for distribution, according to the document. A separate case was filed against Vela-Cardenas for illegal re-entry.

Court records indicated he was deported from the United States in November 2011 following convictions for distribution of cocaine and aiding and abetting in 2008. On May 3, agents interviewed Maria Guadalupe Montellano-Moreno, with whom Vela-Cardenas admitted to agents he conspired to launder money, according to a third complaint. "Vela stated Montellano-Morena laundered amounts of US$5,000 to US$10,000 once a month for a period of approximately one year," the document alleged.

During questioning, she told agents she began picking up U.S. currency from unknown subjects approximately four years ago at various locations in Brownsville and would later transport it to Vela-Cardenas in Matamoros, the complaint stated. All three defendants were scheduled to appear remotely on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald G. Morgan for detention hearings.

In Mexico, the Government of Tamaulipas is offering up to MXN$1.5 million (approximately US$63K) to anyone that provides valuable information that leads to Vela-Cardenas's capture. He is wanted by Tamaulipas authorities since March 2020.

Note: This article was written by The Brownsville Herald. Borderland Beat added the image from the Tamaulipas government's website and included more info on the main suspect.


  1. Is Vela-Cardneas a coincidence? or is he related to Rafael Vela Cardenas, aka Junior, aka El 9000

  2. Lot of last names known for trafficking on the matamoros brownsville corridor in this story. Never heard this story. Good find.

  3. Related to the Cardenas clan?

  4. Excellent ūüĎć another going to the slammer. Everyday you wake up, you can say hello to your own 8x12 home.

  5. He's smiling in anticipation.

  6. Come here insulting the peace and dignity of the State on multiple occasions by spreading poison to people -put them away.

    1. Your people love it though pendejo
      If they didn’t they wouldn’t buy it. Kill the demand then no need to traffic it. Can’t sell what people don’t want
      Sorry to speak the truth.

    2. Just say NO jajaja

    3. Mexico not as many also has buttloads of addicts.

    4. The problem is your right. It is good so good everyone likes it including Mexicans. I started seeing the spread of it in Matamoros in 2012, but nobody could sell it just gifts. Things are changing new players want new money meth is starting to sell in Mexico.

  7. Where is the merch coming from ng, viagras cds??osiel use to deal with La Familia Michoacana

    1. Interestine,unless CDG are now cooking meth.

  8. future cooperating witnesses


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