Mexican Drug Lord’s Son Pleads Guilty to Waiving Gun, Flashing Stolen Badge in Texas Bar

Brownsville PD

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The son of Mexican drug lord who headed the Gulf Cartel and founded Los Zetas is facing a possible 13-year prison sentence for waving a gun in a bar while claiming to be a U.S. Marshal. 

This week, Osiel Cardenas Jr., the son of jailed capo Osiel Cardenas Guillen, went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ignacio Torteya and pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of impersonating a federal officer. Court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed that the plea was a cold one, meaning that the prosecutors and defense attorneys do not have any agreement for a reduced sentence. Cardenas Jr. is facing a maximum 10-year sentence for the weapon charge and a maximum sentence of three years in prison for the impersonation charge. He could also face additional jail time in connection with his previous cases. 

Brownsville Police arrested the younger Cardenas in mid-March at a local hotspot called SKY Bar after responding to calls of a man waving a gun inside the haunt, Breitbart Texas reported. During his arrest, Cardenas claimed to be a U.S. Marshal and displayed a badge. Authorities reportedly found a Bersa .380 handgun on his person. The badge was real, but belonged to a Cameron County District Attorney. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “witnesses indicated Cardenas ordered patrons to leave the nightclub or they would be arrested for failure to follow his commands.”

After his arrest on local charges, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives took over the case since Cardenas is a convicted felon and is not able to legally possess a weapon. As Breitbart Texas reported, federal authorities arrested Cardenas Jr. in January 2015 as he attempted to cross hundreds of ammunition rounds and weapon parts hidden in his luxury SUV. Cardenas pleaded guilty to that charge and spent 11 months in prison. At the time of his arrest this year, he was still serving a three-year term of supervised release. If that supervised release is revoked, Cardenas could be facing additional jail time in addition to the upcoming sentence. 

Cardenas’ father, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, is serving a 25-year prison sentence for his role as the leader of the Gulf Cartel. During Cardenas’ reign, the Gulf Cartel or “La Compañia” as it was called at the time, became one of the top criminal empires in Mexico and, according to a series of civil and criminal lawsuits filed in federal courts, bribed at least two Tamaulipas governors and many other officials in order to ensure their supremacy.

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