CHRIS TOMLINSON, Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge is set to sentence five members of the Zetas cartel for laundering drug money through horse racing.
Among the five men appearing in court on Thursday is Jose Trevino Morales, a brother to two of the Mexican gang’s top leaders.
A jury found the men guilty of intent or conspiracy to commit money laundering. They face 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors said the men ran a scheme that went through $16 million in 30 months to buy, train and race horses. The operation created fake companies and sometimes fixed races.
Federal agents said horse owners, trainers and others crafted bank deposits to mask the drug money being used to fund the operation.
The trial was held in Austin because federal authorities in Central Texas prosecuted the case.