Monday, July 15, 2013

Zeta 40 Arrested By Mexican Marines Near Nuevo Laredo

Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, Abdón Federico Rodríguez García and Ernesto Reyes García

Photos: Semar

Mexican Marines captured el Zeta 40 on Monday during an operation to bust the Zeta drug cartel in Nuevo Laredo.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 15, 2013

Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico - On Monday, the Mexican Secretary of Governence (Segob) and Marines (Semar) announced and confirmed that Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, 42, aka, "El Zeta 40" had been taken into custody in the early hours of the day by Mexican Marines. The Marines were conducting operation "Surprised" when they encountered Treviño Morales and arrested him. Treviño Morales is the leader of the Zeta cartel.
Treviño Morales had seven warrants for multiple homicides, including the murders of 265 victims including South and Central American undocumented immigrants in San Fernando, torture, kidnappings, having illegal weapons, organized crime, drug trafficking and laundering money. He was taken into custody around 4:00 a.m. in the municipality of Anáhuac between the state borders of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, according to SEIDO.
Along with Treviño Morales, two other suspects were also taken into custody. They were identified as Abdón Federico Rodríguez García, 29, and Ernesto Reyes García, 38, one was the Zeta accountant and the other a body guard. At least $2M in cash and several weapons were conficated along with a truck the suspects were travelling in, according to Semar.
So far, 37 Zeta suspects have been implicated and arrested in the 265 mass murders, including 16 municipal police officers from San Fernando. Some of the victims were identified as Elvis Martinez, 33, Gonzalo García Casanova from the state of Matamoros and Feliciano Tagal Ovalle, 44, of Guatemala. The rest of the bodies are considered to be Mexican nationals. Authorities in 2010 identified 40 victims of the 72 bodies undocumented immigrants found in San Fernando in August from ID documentation the victims were carrying. The PGR confirmed that 13 were from El Salvador, 15 from Honduras, 5 from Guatemala, 6 from Ecuador and 1 from Brazil.
Rodrigo Archundia, spokesperson for the Mexican federal Attorney's General Agency of Organized Crime and Delinquency Investigations (SEIDO) said, Treviño Morales had no drugs on him when he was taken into custody. Treviño Morales was immediately transported from Nuevo Laredo to Mexico's Siedo installations after it was confirmed that they had El Zeta 40 for a presentation later to media outlets, according to Archundia.
A mugshot of Treviño Morales that was released showed signs of being beaten.
The U.S. government had offered a $5M dollar reward and the Mexican government had also offered a $2M dollar reward for any information leading to Treviño Morales' capture.
Treviño Morales took over the Zeta Mexican cartel and drug operation after Heriberto Lazcano, aka, "El Lazca" was killed.
The Mexican Attorney General's Office (PGR) wanted Treviño Morales for ordering Zeta members to burn the Casino Royale in Monterrey killing 52 victims on August 25, 2011 after the casino owner failed to pay extortion money to the Zetas. He was also the mastermind for the murder of 43 prisoners and the escape of 37 others from a prison in Apodaca.
Treviño Morales also ordered the murder of José Eduardo Moriera, the son of the former Governor of Coahuila Humberto Moreira, according to the PGR.
He is also wanted in Texas for a double homicide in 2006. Treviño Morales was born in Nuevo Laredo and later grew up in Dallas, Texas where he joined the Tejas gang in 1999, but later returned to Mexico. 
He joined the Zetas and then Lazca and Treviño Morales decided to break away from the Gulf Cartel and form the Zeta Cartel. The Zetas were the armed enforcers for the Gulf Cartel. After Osiel Cárdenas Guillén the leader of the Gulf Cartel was taken into custody in 2007 and then extradited to the U.S., convicted and sentenced to 25 years, the Zetas became independent. They made a pact with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, the Sinaloa Cartel druglord that sparked the bloodiest cartel drug wars in Mexico.
In May, José Treviño Morales, the brother of El Zeta 40 was convicted in Texas for money laundering, running a 400 horse breeding ranch that owned several championship race horses. José was convicted for laundering and spending at least $16M from Zeta proceeds within 30 months to buy, train and race horses. The U.S. government auctioned the horses netting the government at least $9M.
José's wife and daughter pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Bodies of 72 illegal Latin Americans from Ecuador, Salvador, Honduras and Brazil were found inside a Zeta ranch warehouse by Mexican Marines after one of two survivors that escaped notified Mexican authorities of the massacre in late August 2010. Luis Freddy Lara Pomavilla, 18, from Ecuador had escaped from a nearby Zeta Cartel occupied ranch in San Fernando and made his way to a military outpost to seek help and authorities went back to the Zeta ranch where Pomavilla had escaped.

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