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Former Top Mexican State Official Charged in US Court with Laundering Drug Cartel Money

MCALLEN, Texas — A former top cabinet member in the Tamaulipas government is facing multiple charges in U.S. federal court accusing him of helping a former governor Tomas Yarrington (pictured above) launder money and purchase an airplane using cartel money.

Pablo Zarate Juarez, who was the head of the Tamaulipas Housing and Urban Development Institute, has been charged with money laundering conspiracy, bank fraud conspiracy, and two counts of bank fraud, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed. Zarate Juarez is currently considered a fugitive from justice and is being actively sought by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.

The case against Zarate Juarez is tied to the case of former Tamaulipas governor Tomas Yarrington who is on the run on drug conspiracy and money laundering charges. As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Yarrington has been accused of providing protection to the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas while he was governor and then after he is also accused of working with the Zetas and the Beltran Leyva cartel to get them access to the Port of Veracruz to aid their movement of large quantities of drugs.

Federal agents have accused Zarate of straw purchasing an airplane for Yarrington using cartel money as well as other offenses. Authorities have already filed a civil suit to seize the airplane.

“HSI Special Agents often investigate complex financial schemes in order to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala. “These investigations can deprive the organization from enjoying the fruits of these illicit proceeds and prevent them from furthering the ongoing criminal enterprise. HSI will continue to aggressively investigate fraudulent financial schemes that jeopardize the integrity of our financial system.”

Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter and on Facebook.

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