In mid-July, the trial of a 38-year-old man was being conducted under heavy security in a Texas federal courthouse. This was because the man was considered to be the leader of the Cartel de Noreste, which smuggled drugs from Mexico into the state. Authorities believe that he has helped to send thousands of kilograms of marijuana and cocaine into the area while also laundering millions of dollars.
The cartel leader was taken into custody in September 2016 and charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. According to authorities, the drugs were sent along Interstate 35, and the controlled substances were sent to other cities such as San Antonio. Authorities also say that the case against the man stretches back to 2012 when he came to the country from Mexico.
During the trial, original members of a gang called the Zetas were expected to testify against the Cartel de Noreste leader. It is believed that the man came to power after his uncles were taken into custody in Mexico. Authorities say that the gang operates in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. One of the man's uncles was convicted in the United States in 2016 on money laundering charges while his father served 20 years in a federal prison.
People who have been charged with drug trafficking may face many years in prison in addition to stiff fines if a conviction is obtained. As a result, they might find it advisable to meet with a criminal defense attorney as early in the process as possible so that a strategy to combat the allegations or to lessen the potential penalties can be constructed.