Treviño, a former Mexican special forces operative, was one of the first to defect and join the Gulf Cartel’s security arm, the Zetas. When Zetas commander Arturo Guzmán Decena was killed in 2002, he rose in the ranks. In 2006, he was stationed as the “Plaza Boss” in Nuevo Laredo, the Zetas’ longtime base of operations. Near 2007, he was sent to Veracruz following the death of high-ranking member of the group. There he took control of that drug trafficking corridor, while simultaneously taking over other illicit industries such as pirated DVD and CD businesses, and human trafficking. He’s also thought to run the Zetas’ operations in Guatemala where the group has established bases in the northern states of Peten and Alta Verapaz.
The Gulf Cartel, originally founded in Mexico the 1930s to smuggle whiskey and other illicit commodities into the United States, expanded significantly by the 1970s under Juan Garcia-Abrego, who became the first drug trafficker to be placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. Following his 1996 arrest by Mexican authorities and subsequent deportation to the United States, Oscar Malherbe-De Leon took control of the cartel until his arrest a short time later. He was replaced by Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, who was arrested in 2003, and extradited to the United States in 2007. The Department of State Narcotics Rewards Program played a significant role in the capture of all three of these Gulf Cartel leaders, with reward offers and subsequent reward payments. The Gulf Cartel controls most of the cocaine and marijuana trafficking through the Matamoros, Mexico corridor to the United States.
Los Zetas evolved from a small group of deserters from the Mexican Special Forces, hired by Osiel Cardenas-Guillen for his personal security, into a ruthless security force for the entire Gulf Cartel. Los Zetas also took responsibility for the safe passage of the Gulf Cartel’s cocaine and other drugs from Mexico to the United States and have become a significant drug trafficking organization in their own right. Los Zetas are credited with rising rates of violence within Mexico, largely attributed to turf battles with other drug cartels.
Miguel Angel Trevino-Morales is a high ranking member of Los Zetas and head of a semi-independent drug trafficking organization (DTO) controlling more than 200 operatives. Trevino-Morales is responsible for collecting “tariffs” at all drug plazas controlled by the Gulf Cartel in Mexico. From 2006 to 2007, Miguel Angel Trevino-Morales served as Nuevo Laredo “Plaza Boss” for the Gulf Cartel, and then was sent to Veracruz, Mexico in March 2007 as Plaza Boss following the death of Efrain Theodora-Torres. He reportedly is responsible for smuggling multi-hundred kilogram loads of cocaine each week from Mexico to the United States and also facilitates smuggling of cocaine through Guatemala to the United States. He is charged in a 2008 Federal indictment in the District of Columbia with violations of Title 21 USC Sections 959, 960, 963, and Title 18 USC Section 2.
The U.S. Department of State is currently offering a REWARD OF UP TO $5 MILLION for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of MIGUEL ANGEL TREVINO-MORALES.
- Most Powerful Mexican Cartels Poised for Battle (foxnews.com)