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Federal prosecutors seize pair of aircraft owned by imprisoned Zetas boss Omar Trevino

February 24, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Federal prosecutors seize pair of aircraft owned by imprisoned Zetas boss Omar Trevino

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U.S. federal prosecutors have announced the seizures of a helicopter and an airplane in South Texas tied to the ruthless Zetas drug trafficking organization in Mexico.

According to court documents, a judge in McAllen, Texas issued a ruling, allowing the government to take possession of the helicopter that was kept in the name of a San Antonio businessman, but owned by a leading cartel figure.

Miguel Andrade, who owns a trucking business in Bexar County, Texas, alerted the FBI after he saw the aircraft he had helped a customer purchase on the news reporting on the March 2015 arrest of imprisoned Zetas boss Omar Trevino Morales.

Andrade said at the time he was unaware he was doing anything wrong when he allowed his customer put the name of his trucking company on paperwork filed with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Texas said no one appeared during the court hearing to dispute the government’s action after authorities seized the helicopter in McAllen, and a federal judge issued a default judgment for the government.

Additionally, federal prosecutors in Corpus Christi won a default judgment in the forfeiture of an airplane previously seized in the border city of Brownsville, Texas, which federal law enforcement officials alleged was purchased with funds collected from illicit bribes paid by Los Zetas.

A judge dismissed ownership claims by Pablo Zarate Juarez, who is the former housing director for the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas for refusing to enter the U.S., where he faces a federal criminal indictment on money laundering, bank fraud, and conspiracy charges.

On Tuesday, Zarate, who is considered a fugitive, continued to refute the charges in the indictment and his lawyer said he intends to appeal the court’s decision.

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