An Austin federal judge on Thursday sentenced two businessmen to 20 years in prison, saying there was no doubt in his mind the defendants knowingly helped funnel $60 million in illegitimate funds into the U.S. quarter horse industry for Los Zetas, one of the most ruthless and sophisticated criminal enterprises in Mexico.
José Treviño Morales, brother of two principal leaders within the organization, and Francisco Colorado Cessa, a prominent oilman from the Mexican state of Veracruz, were convicted in May of money laundering conspiracy charges. In their sentencing hearings Thursday, they stood before U.S. district court judge Sam Sparks in red-and-white striped jumpsuits, describing themselves as hardworking and innocent men as they asked for lesser punishment.
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