Over 300 racehorses were seized by the United States government in June of 2012 during a raid on a ranch belonging to the brother of a known Mexican drug lord. Jose Trevino Morales and another 14 people were charged with money laundering and using a quarter horse operation to move their illegal funds. Jose Trevino is the brother of Miguel Angel the former leader of the Zetas Cartel in Mexico.  Angel was arrested earlier this year in Mexico. Trevino Morales was arrested in Texas and tried in an American court. He was sentenced to 20-years in prison.

There were 340 quarter horses seized during the raid. All but five were sold last year at an auction. The last five of the seized cartel horses sold at an auction in Oklahoma City for a total of $3.1-million. "Tender Dash" one of the horses seized sold at the most recent auction for $1.7 million. Last year the race horse "A Dash of Sweet Heat" sold for one-million-dollars. The government had hoped it would make at least several million dollars on the sale of the horses. Those looking to purchase one of the cartel horses were at first, worried about their former owners.

The defendants and the prosecutors both agreed the horses should be sold and those who have purchased one of the quarter horses should have nothing to worry about, according to a spokesperson from the IRS Criminal Investigation Service. Special agent Mike Lemoine of the IRS, spoke with the New York Times last year and said "There's no fear in buying any of these horses. This is an agreed upon sale." A judge approved the sale of these horses last year after concerns about boarding the horses and their health began to arise. Several of the animals died following the raid.

The Zetas Cartel is one of the most dangerous cartels in the world. It is said the Zetas control most of the trafficking from South America into Mexico and the United States. In July of 2012 the former Zetas leader was arrested close to the U.S border in Nuevo Laredo. Miguel Angel Trevino has been charged with kidnapping, torture and murder as well as a number of other crimes. Mexican authorities are still looking for another Trevino brother who is still at large.

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