Suspected Gulf Cartel Money Launderer Caught near Texas Border

Chart showing the main players in a Gulf Cartel cocaine and cash network.
U.S. Department of Treasury.

Just days after the U.S. Department of Treasury publicly outed a suspected Gulf Cartel money laundering and drug trafficking network active in both Mexico and Texas, Mexican authorities captured one of its main members.

As Breitbart Texas previously reported, the U.S. Department of Treasury singled out a Gulf Cartel drug trafficking and money laundering group led by Ariel Briones and made up of some of his relatives, including his brother-in-law Rogelio Nieto Gonzalez.

Using Briones’ fuel business in the border city of Matamoros, the group is believed to have moved large quantities of cocaine north and bulk cash south for the Gulf Cartel. Briones, his wife, and other associates are named in a drug trafficking indictment in the U.S. Southern District of Texas.

According to information released by the Tamaulipas government, Mexican authorities arrested Nieto Gonzalez near the border city of Matamoros, in what authorities describe as a routine patrol. At the time of his arrest, Nieto was found with more than $33,000, including about $25,000 in Mexican currency. Nieto Gonzalez was also carrying a small amount of marijuana and cocaine, as well as a handgun and some road spikes.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury identified Nieto Gonzalez’s ties to the Gulf Cartel when they unveiled the Briones money laundering network, which was assigned the “kingpin” designation — meaning that in addition to the government seizing their U.S. assets, American citizens are prohibited from doing business with them.

The Tamaulipas government, on the other hand, said in its news release that Nieto Gonzalez claimed to be an “independent” drug trafficker and money launderer for organized crime.

Mexican authorities have not provided any information about possible extradition for Nieto Gonzalez in connection with his pending indictment in U.S. federal court.

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