Former Cartel-Linked Mexican Border Governor Pleads Not Guilty in U.S.

Tamaulipas governor
Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

A former governor for the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas who is facing U.S. drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering charges in Texas pleaded not guilty and will remain in federal custody without bond.

This week, 61-year-old Tomas Jesus Yarrington Ruvalcaba went back before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan for an arraignment hearing. Court documents revealed that Yarrington and his court-appointed attorney Carlos Monarrez asked for the indictment to not be read and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Morgan ruled that Yarrington did not meet any conditions that would guarantee that the former politician is not a flight risk and ordered that he be held by the U.S. Marshals Service without bond.

Yarrington served as the governor of Tamaulipas from 1999 to 2005, a time that prosecutors allege he worked for the Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas and then in the years after, the Beltran Leyva Cartel. As Breitbart Texas reported, Yarrington is accused of taking bribes from the cartels and funneling illicit funds to U.S. bank accounts for domestic laundering.

The money laundering and financial allegations opened the door for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to take on the case and carry out a long-term investigation that led to the eventual indictments. Federal prosecutors unsealed the allegations in 2012 and named Yarrington a fugitive from justice.

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