Top Zeta Cartel Member Illegally Living in Texas Sentenced to Prison

Mexico Drug War
AP Photo/Bruno González

A top Zeta Cartel member from Mexico who had illegally entered the U.S. and set up a methamphetamine distribution network in San Antonio will spend 35 years in prison on a federal drug trafficking charge and a weapons charge. He is also expected to be sentenced to 35 additional years for other drug trafficking charges tied to his role as a top Zeta.

Ezekiel “El Cheke” Rodriguez had been a top Zeta in the border city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, since the early 2000’s. Since then he has moved thousands of pounds of marijuana and cocaine across the border and into the U.S., court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed.

According to information released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Rodriguez used his ties to other top ranking Zetas in Mexico from 2007 to 2009 to move at least 500 kilograms of cocaine a month into the U.S. as well as use the same network to smuggle millions in cash proceeds back into Mexico.

The drugs were smuggled across the border from Piedras Negras into Eagle Pass and then to San Antonio. From there, the drugs spread out to other major areas across the country. With some of the drug proceeds, the Zetas would buy assault weapons that would be smuggled into Mexico in order to allow the criminal organization to keep control of Piedras Negras by force.

By March 2013, Rodriguez had illegally entered the U.S. and set up shop in San Antonio where he had already been running a methamphetamine distribution network. The San Antonio Police Gang Unit got information that Rodriguez had been distributing commercial quantities of methamphetamine in that city, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed.

After a surveillance operation, investigators saw Rodriguez hand off a clear bag with 57 grams of meth to another man. Police pulled over the man who had no license and had outstanding warrants and ended up seizing the drugs.

Authorities arrested Rodriguez at a San Antonio HEB supermarket as he exited the business with his son and got consent to search his residence where they found .260 grams of methamphetamine and a.357 revolver, which he cannot own since he is an illegal alien. The charges stemming from this arrest led to Rodriguez being sentenced to 35 years. He also pleaded guilty to other drug trafficking charges tied to his role as a Zeta dealing with the trafficking of large drug shipments. For those charges Rodriguez is expected to receive a sentence of 35 years in prison following a series of plea deals made with prosecutors.

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