Beyond Drugs in Los Zeta’s Effort to Launder Money

Borderland Beat
April 16, 2013


zetas medallionCarlos Nayen Borbolla was one of 19 people indicted last year in a massive money laundering scheme that law enforcement officials say poured millions of dollars in drug proceeds into the American quarter horse industry, profiting leaders of one of the most ruthless criminal organizations in Mexico. As that case heads to trial in Austin the 15th of April, new records say Nayen also played part in a large operation running guns from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma to an illegal firearms trafficking organization in the North Texas area.

Weapons and cash were smuggled south into Mexico, while the group moved drugs north across the border to the United States, using proceeds to buy automobiles, houses, jewelry and other valuable assets, according to an indictment transferred last month to a federal court in Austin under the Western District of Texas.

The case, the majority of which remains sealed, was filed last year in an Eastern District of Texas court, a month before another indictment, handed up by a Central Texas grand jury in May, listed Nayen among suspects who helped buy, train and race horses under companies used to launder money for members of the violent Zetas cartel.

Benefiting from the horse industry scheme, court records show, were Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, believed to be the highest and most feared leaders of the Mexican criminal organization, and his two brothers, Oscar Omar and Jose Treviño Morales.

Nayen and Jose Treviño were among more than a dozen people arrested last summer in a series of raids at homes and ranches across the Southwest. The two other Treviño brothers haven’t been caught.

The original indictment against Nayen shows he was responsible for making payments for the care and upkeep of the quarter horses using bulk currency, wire transfers and other forms of financing from Mexico. He also arranged for more than $500,000 in payments when Jose Treviño sold a variety of horses, including one named Number One Cartel and another named Forty Force.

Government officials said the extent of Nayen’s involvement became more apparent as the investigation continued. The case later filed against him was brought to the Austin division to be handled with the trial, said Special Agent Mike Lemoine, a spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation division.

Read the full article–Beyond Drugs in Los Zeta’s Effort to Launder Money