Son of Former Gulf Cartel Leader Arrested at Texas Border City Bar

Brownsville PD

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The son of the man who once was considered the top leader of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel is facing various charges after allegedly brandishing a handgun at a local bar.

Brownsville Police arrested Osiel Cardenas Junior at Skybar off U.S. Expressway 83 after he allegedly pulled out a handgun during a confrontation. Court booking information revealed that Cardenas was charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon and making a false report to a peace officer. The second charge was filed after Cardenas claimed to be a law enforcement official.

Osiel Cardenas Jr. is the son of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the former leader of the Gulf Cartel and founder of Los Zetas. The elder Cardenas is credited with expanding the Gulf Cartel into one of the leading criminal organizations in Mexico as well as creating a feared enforcement wing that eventually became an independent operation known as Los Zetas. Osiel Cardenas Guillen is currently serving a 25-year- prison sentence in the U.S. after pleading guilty to multiple drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

Before Cardenas Jr. was able to post bail, he was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service and went before a judge to face charges in connection with violating federal supervised release. Cardenas remains in custody without bond as he faces revocation of his release.

Cardenas Jr. had been out on supervised release after spending 10 months in federal prison in connection with ammunition smuggling charges, Breitbart Texas reported. At the time of the initial arrest in 2015, Cardenas Jr. had been driving a Cadillac Escalade from Brownsville to Matamoros when he was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers who found hundreds of ammunition rounds and weapon parts.

After completing his sentence, Cardenas was ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release. Court records revealed that local police arrested Cardenas shortly after his release in July 2016 for driving with a suspended license. After that case, court officials warned him that future violations could cost him his freedom. Prior to his 2015 arrest, Cardenas Jr. had been in and out of the Brownsville jail on state DWI and weapons charges.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.  You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at


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