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Zetas Money Laudering Case: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Tosses Convictions of Zetas Linked Horse Trainer and Businessman

May 8, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Zetas Money Laudering Case: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Tosses Convictions of Zetas Linked Horse Trainer and Businessman

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The New Orleans U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals have overturned the convictions of a Los Zetas linked horse trainer and businessman in Austin, Texas, both convicted of laundering drug money for the cartel in 2013.

Horse trainer Eusavio Huitron and businessman Francisco Pancho Colorado had their convictions on money laundering tossed by the Appellate Court Judges. Huitron, Cessa, and two other businessmen were found guilty for their involvement in a $60 million money laundering conspiracy in 2013.

The 2012 Federal Indictment involved 20 defendants accussed of investing millions in illicit funds made from drug profits into obscure corporations. In what was the largest federal indictment ever prosecuted in Central Texas.

The only defendant acquitted was the brother of Huitron, Jesus “Jesse” Huitron, who owned a successful Austin-based Home building business. In addition to granting Huitron a new trial, the 5th Circuit Mexican also granted Cessa a new trial.

Cessa claimed in an interview that the Zetas, which at one time was the most feared and powerful cartel in Mexico, had coherced him into purchasing horses for the cartel.

Two other co-defendants lost their appeal. The trial underscored the extensive system of political and financial connections the syndicate maintained through bribery and extreme violence throughout Mexico. The Zetas used their vast fortune to expand their financial dealings across the border into the United States.

However, attorneys for both men argued in their appeal that the government had solely based their case on the weak testimony of informants, “without providing any documentation that would have corroborated the testimony.”

The Appellate judges voiced concerns and openly questioned during oral arguments how prosecutors could discern the line between who were co-conspirators and enablers.

The judges wrote in their ruling: “No evidence presented can conclude that Huitron was intimately involved with many aspects of [Los Zetas’] finances.” Or that he helped formed shell entities to protect the identity of the true owners.” Therefore, we reverse the conviction of Eusevio Huitron.

The judges added that proving a person has associations with “unsavory characters” wasn’t enough, if that were the case, it would implicate everyone from the grocery store clerk to the exotic car salesman.

In addition to ruling that Huitron’s arrest was unjust, the judges ruled that both defendants be granted an opportunity to challenge the $60 million seizure of assets made by the government in connection with the case.

One of the attorneys for Cessa believes there isn’t a shred of evidence that shows the Zetas had laundered drug money through the environmental cleanup company, ADT Petroservicios, which was owned by Colorado.

Huitron will remain in prison while the government decides to request a reconsideration of the ruling. “I am just so happy; that’s all I can say right now” his brother, Jesus, said in Spanish from his home in East Austin. However, Pancho must serve out his 5-year prison sentence he received in February of this year after pleading guilty to attempting to bribe a federal judge with $1 Million in exchange for a lighter sentence.

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