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updated: 4/16/2013 10:19 AM

Cartel money laundering trial to begin in Texas

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  • Prosecutors in Texas say Jose Trevino Morales, a brother of two top leaders of Los Zetas, oversaw the purchase of hundreds of quarter horses at a ranch in Oklahoma. He's charged with conspiracy to launder drug money in a case with more than a dozen other defendants. Jury selection in the trial begins Monday, April 15, 2013, in Austin, Texas.

      Prosecutors in Texas say Jose Trevino Morales, a brother of two top leaders of Los Zetas, oversaw the purchase of hundreds of quarter horses at a ranch in Oklahoma. He's charged with conspiracy to launder drug money in a case with more than a dozen other defendants. Jury selection in the trial begins Monday, April 15, 2013, in Austin, Texas.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- A man closely related to the leadership of one of the biggest, most versatile and violent criminal organizations in the world faces charges that he bought racehorses to hide illegal drug profits for the powerful Mexican cartel.

Federal prosecutors will present opening statements Tuesday in the case against Jose Trevino Morales, a brother of two top leaders of the Zetas.

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Prosecutors say Morales disguised drug money through the purchase of racehorses at a ranch in Oklahoma. He has been charged with conspiracy in federal court in Texas.

Morales' wife and daughter have pleaded guilty to lesser charges. His brothers remain at large. The horses have been auctioned by the government.

Lawyers for Morales have filed documents suggesting they will offer a contrasting portrait of his equestrian business dealings.

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