Zetas DEA Target Arrested in Mexico Border Town

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Mexico’s Navy has arrested Eduardo Treviño Treviño, a close relative of the Zetas’ top leader, wanted by the US DEA for allegedly moving millions of dollars of dirty money from the US to Mexico as part of a Zetas smuggling ring.

Treviño, the cousin or nephew of Zetas leader Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, alias “Z-40”, according to different sources, was arrested in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, on the eastern border with Texas. He’s accused of collaborating with a drug trafficking ring that distributed more than 250 kilos of cocaine in Chicago, Illinois,  and of directing the transportation of $12.4 million in drug profit from the US back to the Zetas in Mexico, Proceso reported.

Treviño and various members of his alleged network were arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Chicago and Laredo, Texas in 2011, but he was one of five people who escaped. Following his recent capture, Treviño was sent to a maximum security prison and, according to Proceso, will likely be extradited to the US.

InSight Crime Analysis

Treviño’s capture demonstrates that even on their home turf, which stretches from Nuevo Laredo to Monterrey, the Zetas are suffering heavy blows. Since 2012, fractures in the group — apparently deepened by the fall of alias “Lazcano” and alias “El Taliban” — as well as the loss of other top members and an ongoing turf war with the Gulf Cartel in Monterrey have all weakened the criminal syndicate. In addition, another member of the Treviño family — Z-40’s brother — was recently convicted for his role in a major money laundering scheme.

The arrest is also important for the DEA; at the time of the 2011 arrests, one DEA official stated that “the severing of those [Mexico-Chicago] ties is of utmost importance to the DEA.”

In addition, the fact the Navy took down Treviño could be an illustration of Peña Nieto’s adminstration’s preference to save the use of troops for targeted assaults on top targets.

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