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Authorities in Spain dismantle Los Zetas criminal network arresting eight cartel members

April 2, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Authorities in Spain dismantle Los Zetas criminal network arresting eight cartel members

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Authorities in Spain have dismantled a criminal network, arresting eight suspected members of Los Zetas, Mexico’s most brutal drug cartel on Friday.

Law enforcement officials said the eight suspects were collaborators of Juan Manuel ‘El Mono’ Muñoz, the alleged top Zetas operator in Europe.

The detainees include a woman and one of the capo’s sons, El Pais reported.

Munoz was arrested in Madrid in March 2016 on drug trafficking and money laundering charges following a sweeping investigation by Spanish officials with assistance from U.S. federal authorities.

Over the course of the probe, Spanish police uncovered systematic corruption involving local Mexican government officials in the border state of Coahuila.

In January, the Spanish government agreed to extradite the senior cartel figure to the United States, where he faces a multi-count indictment charging him wth drug trafficking, money laundering, and weapons charges in Texas’ Western District Court.

In October, investigators in Spain revealed Muñoz had made million dollar payments to several Los Zetas bosses in Mexico City obtained from the purported sale of 2,100 kilograms of cocaine in Europe.

In total, Spanish authorities said 63 million euros was converted into $70 million US dollars and was repatriated back to the Zetas leadership back in Mexico.

Officials said the entire drug transaction occurred over a 6-day period.

The arrest of the Zetas point man coincided with last year’s detention by Spanish Police of Humberto Moriera, the former governor of Coahuila.

Moriera was arrested at Madrid Airport on money laundering and embezzlement allegations in connection with misuse of public funds.

According to the New York Times, Moriera remained untouchable and was a one-time close political ally of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto who helped build his 2012 presidential candidacy.

Surveillance photos released by Spanish authorities shows the Zetas operator conducting a cocaine deal at a Marriott in the Netherlands in 2014.

Documents from the investigation obtained by the Spanish publication revealed Munoz acted as an intermediary between the Zetas and senior Coahuila state government officials including Moriera, who was recently accused by former Mexican President Felipe Calderon of protecting top Los Zetas leaders during his term as the state’s chief executive.

Spanish Police unearthed evidence indicating that Moriera had received $2 million dollars in monthly payments during his tenure as governor for allowing Los Zetas to use the border state as a logistical hub for the trafficking of narcotics into the United States.

In 2011, Moriera left the Coahuila government to preside over the PRI, Mexico’s ruling party, ahead of the 2012 elections which saw Enrique Pena Nieto elected as Mexican President.

Investigators say Juan Manuel ‘El Mono’ Muñoz acted as an intermediary between the Los Zetas leadership and former Coahuila Governor Humberto Moriera

However, nine months after assuming the position, Moriera became entangled in a scandal over Coahuila’s massive debt, which skyrocketed $2.6 billion dollars during his tenure and he resigned as the head of the PRI.

Although Moriera faced widespread allegations of corruption; the Mexican Attorney General had maintained there was “insufficient” evidence to charge the former governor.

Despite the Mexican government’s reluctance to hold Moriera accountable for his actions, Spanish Police did find conclusive evidence to bring forth charges.

The U.S. government has seized assets belonging to Moriera and have prosecuted several of his associates but haven’t indicated whether he will face charges in the U.S. Justice system.

However, the extradition of Munoz could now constitute a criminal indictment against Moreira.

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