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Treviño 20 Yrs: Zetas Money Laundering Trial Sentencing Recap and History

Posted on

September 5, 2013


Breaking News!
Chevo Huitron sentenced to 97 Months
Adan Farias (pled) 3 years probation
Ramirez 12 months and 1 day
Nayen copped a plea
Zulema wife of Jose received three years probation but doesn’t have to pay the $3, 600 fine due to previous forfeiture of assets
Alejandra daughter of Jose was looking at 21-27 months but ended with a two year probation
The judge accepted his Felipe Quintero’s plea agreement 3 years probation 3,600 fine

NOTE: After a long dragged out day only three of the defendants were sentenced
see below for backstory information and sentences.


José Treviño represented by Christie Williams and David Finn

José Treviño defense attorney David Finn asserted that his client is a “genuine horseman” who was targeted by the government because of who his brothers are. “This isn’t some front,” Finn said. “It’s a legitimate, real business, built on the sweat of my client and his wife.”

José Treviño is the older brother of Miguel Treviño aka ‘40’, the recently captured premier leader of Los Zetas cartel. It was 40’s passion of horse racing that generated the horse racing based money laundering scheme that funneled 1M per month, of drug money, to purchase quarter horses. Brother Omar aka 42 is another high level leader of the cartel. José was reported being a reluctant recruit into the family business. Yet, there is no doubt how deeply he emerged and his family became involved in the scheme. The amount of evidence pulled from his home in Balch Springs alone was enough to seal his fate.

José and his wife Zuelma, had a combined of 60-70,000 USD annual income in the years directly prior to his involvement with the scheme. He a brick layer, she an office clerk. Brother Omar told CI #1 that José was stunned at the amount of money he was making in the quarter horse business.
From the search warrant-click to enlarge

And this statement from confidential informant #1:

Sentence: José Treviño was sentenced to 240 months-20 Years, 3 years probation
Eusevio “Chevo” Maldonado Huitron represented by Richard D Esper

“Chevo” made his success and solid reputation as a much sought after horse trainer. He acquired the skills from his father, while the family was still living in their home town of ejido primero de mayo, in northern Coahuila, it became his passion, a passion he brought and developed in Texas, when the family migrated north. Read more on the family history on our post from yesterday.

“Chevo” Huitron, is the brother of Jesse Huitron, Jesse was the only defendant found “not guilty”. It was a great conflict of emotions for Chevo’s brother Jesse on May 9th of this year, elated for his acquittal, but grieving for his brother who was convicted. Chevo who was out on bond was immediately taken into custody. Jesse and his niece expressed their feelings of injustice, and reflected from the fact that Paul Jones and Tyler Graham, both “white” horse trainers were free of prosecution.

Jesse insistence that his brother is innocent may not just be brotherly allegiance. When reading documents related to the case one is hard pressed to find hard evidence against the man. Reading the search warrant and supporting‘facts’, his name doesn’t even appear connected to the money laundering, on one page his name is mentioned in connection with informant #1 saying he recognized a photo of Chevo.
Statements revealed Chevo, at any given time, had 20-30 horses belonging to ‘40’, but Chevo was a horse trainer. The only direct accusation found is a suspicious depositing of funds that he and his brother Jesse were making that may be structured deposits, a way to launder money, but both men long operated business that would have frequent deposits. In total it only amounted to an average of 125k per year for each defendant over a two year period. I don’t think Chevo will get a heavy sentence. Whatever happens, his training days are over in the U.S. He was convicted on one count of money laundering.
Sentence: Chevo was sentenced to 97 months
Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa represented by Mike DeGeurin, Andres Sanchez-Ross, and John Parras
In his closing argument DeGeurin pointed out that Francisco was wealthy in his own right; Colorado “Cessa grew up in Tuxpan, Veracruz and has a environment remediation business. He is a very successful business man.

70-90 million. Witness Barerra from UBS one of Cessa’s financial advisors was not aware of his client’s interest in quarter horses and didn’t know any of Cessa’s money came from or went to horses.”

“And the government alleges a conspiracy to launder drug money.”

But then there is testimony of Jesús Enrique Rejón Aguilar aka “El Mamito” or Z-7.

Rejón spoke to the court of Pancho Colorado and his relationship with Z-14. He said, “They were compadres and Z-14 helped him with his company in Veracruz.” He was at the investigation/reorganization meeting at Colorado’s ranch after the death of Z-14. Rejón testified that he attended many match races, “maybe 80” with 40 and 42 in Mexico, and Colorado Cessa was there sometimes, too. “He bought horses for them.”

This is what lead Prosecuting attorney Douglas Gardner contended in his opening argument; “Mexican businessman, Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa, bought horses for the Zetas through his company, also alleged of being a front company for the Zetas.”

José Carlos Hinajosa was a law clerk at the Federal Attorney’s office in San Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, before becoming the account for Los Zetas. He testified Thursday that in 2004-2005, Francisco Colorado Cessa syphoned millions of dollars of drug money that was allocated for the horse racing operation and 12 million dollars to the PRI political party’s gubernatorial campaign in Veracruz. Though not named, the governor was Fidel Herrera Beltrán. He denies this to be fact, but the FBI suspected Francisco was giving money to Herrera.
Once the candidate won, the majority of contracts awarded for Pemex and Petróleos Mexicanos was given to ADT, Francisco’s company. Francisco was the liaison between the governor and a former Zetas leader, probably Heriberto Lazcano who is now deceased. The gubernatorial victory assured free passage for the Zetas trafficking drugs through Veracruz.

A financial spread sheet of Colorado Cessa’s horse purchases found on Fernando Garcia’s computer representing 1.4M spent at horse a horse auction, which exhibited payments from ADT. (Colorado Cessa’s company)
Documents reflect Colorado Cessa purchasing 121 horses. Forty-one of the horses were in his name and boarded at Southwest Stallion or at trainer Paul Joan’s facility.
Sentence: Cessa’s was sentenced to 240 months
Fernando Solis Garcia represented by Guy L. Womack and Geoff L. Womack
Womack: “When the government is involved in a big investigation they use witnesses they have promised immunity. So the jury always have to take that testimony with caution. If I tortured people, I wouldn’t hesitate to lie if it helped to reduce my sentence.”
“It doesn’t affect my client, Fernando Solis Garcia because no one said Fernando did anything wrong.”
Cuellar said los Zetas would use big businessmen. “Fernando isn’t a big businessman. The Zetas killed Villareal because he knew too much and were afraid he would testify. Fernando never testified. Cuellar didn’t know Fernando or Colorado and we saw the Mr. Piloto race that Cuellar said that he helped fix the race. We saw the race here and know that isn’t true.”
“The truth is that on September 6, 2010 Mr. Piloto won the American Futurity, the only big race he won. The truth is Mr. Piloto is worth more as a stud because of his good genetics.”Mamito was Z-7, in Mexico they caught him and extradited him for killing Jaime Zapata. (Mamito testified he was not given any consideration in exchange for his testimony)
“In this trial, only the reliable witnesses knew Fernando Solis Garcia.”

If you are trying to make it in the horse business, like Jose Trevino was, you would want Fernando Solis Garcia to find you horses. You would want Fernando Solis Garcia to be your agent. You would want Fernando Solis Garcia to train your horse.”
“In 2010 Fernando Garcia met Jose Trevino in 2010 about Mr. Piloto. He trained him in New Mexico near Riodoso beginning in July”

Solis Garcia was convicted of money laundering, using the structured deposits method. One day spending six hours driving to nine separate banks depositing payments and using his company to conceal ownership of horses by cartel members. There wasn’t an abundance of evidence against the defendant, it remains to be seen if Judge SParks sees it He broke down in sobs when the verdict was read that convicted him.

Sentence: Solis sentenced to 140 months

Raul Ramirez represented by Robert R. Harris

The 21 year old Ramirez entered plea of guilty to related charges prior to jury selection
Raul Ramirez represented by Robert R. Harris

A little over a year ago, the then 20 year old Ramirez was arrested while trying to enter the United States from Mexico through the international crossroads of Fabens, Texas.

Ramirez, from El Paso Texas, was accused of bidding on quarter horses for the Treviño’s on behalf of shell companies meant to hide the horses’ true ownership. He is charged with a single count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. Ramirez faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Against prosecutors request, Ramirez was granted bail. Bail was set at 10,000 dollars.
Sentence: 12 Months and 1 day for Ramirez-for structured funds-3000 dollars fine and 3 years probation, no forfeiture of property
Ramirez entered plea of guilty to related charges prior to jury selection
Sentence: Ramirez was not sentenced today

All smiles are the lead federal attorney Douglas Gardner and his team representing the United States

About Doc

Spreading the word about the dangers of methamphetamine.

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