US

Mexican drug cartel launders money through American horse racing

On Tuesday, the Justice Department moved against Tremor Enterprises, a horse racing business funded by Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, the second in command of Mexico’s Zetas drug cartel, reports The New York Times.

The company has operations in Oklahoma and New Mexico and is run by Treviño’s older brother José, a legal resident of the United States. The younger Treviño, Miguel, is one of the DEA’s most wanted fugitives, and there is a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest. He has become the lead enforcer of the Zetas, who are known for mutilating his victims’ bodies while they are still alive.

The brothers’ horse breeding company won three of horseracing’s biggest races in the last three years, earning about $2.5 million in prize money. The operation was used to launder money from the drug cartel through legal enterprises in the United States.

The Justice Department sent helicopters and hundreds of agents to Tremor’s stables in New Mexico and its ranch in Oklahoma Tuesday morning.

The Zetas were originally a protection force for another but split off in 2010 to start their own operation, which is now one of the most influential in Mexico.

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