Cartel Horse Seizure Adds Up to $8.8M Sale
RUIDOSO, N.M. — The federal seizure of 300 horses linked to Los Zetas cartel resulted in about $8.8 million in sales through an auction, officials said.
United States Attorney Robert Pitman and the Internal Revenue Service reported that two-thirds of the horses were sold at Heritage Place Auction in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Officials said the federal government still retains possession of approximately 45 quarter horses,
expected to be auctioned or sold at a later date.
The proceeds from the sale of these quarter horses will be held in escrow pending a forfeiture
action. Court documents allege that the horses were bought by and for members of the Los Zetas drug cartel with proceeds from narcotics trafficking.
“Like all criminal organizations, the Zetas are motivated by money. Identifying and taking their assets is an important way to lay an axe to the root of the tree. If successful, the forfeiture of these assets will represent a major step in our efforts to interrupt the cartel’s activity within in the United States,” stated United States Attorney Pitman.
“This investigation has helped to disrupt this alleged international drug cartel’s U.S.-based money laundering operations and demonstrates the lengths that US law enforcement will go to deprive criminal organizations of the fruits of their illegal activities,” stated IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Steve McCullough.