Quarter Horse racing, breeding operation allegedly used to launder money
On Tuesday, the United States Justice Department dispatched hundreds of law enforcement agents to a Quarter Horse farm in Oklahoma owned by Jose Trevino, reports the New York Times. Trevino is charged with laundering money for Mexico’s Zeta’s drug trafficking organization. Trevino’s brother Miguel Angel Trevino Morales is known to be the second in command of the Zetas. Money from the Zetas allowed the Trevino brothers to establish a prominent breeding operation called Tremor Enterprises. Authorities says the breeding operation allowed them to launder millions of dollars in drug money.
Tremor Enterprises first came to prominence in 2009 when Jose Trevino bought $3 million in Quarter Horses, including a horse named Number One Cartel. That same year, Trevino’s horse Tempting Dash won the Texas Classic Futurity. In 2010, Trevino upset the All-American Futurity with a colt named Mr. Piloto. With the mounting number of wins and recognition at top levels of racing, Trevino was able to hire the most respected jockeys, trainers and sales associates.
Rumors as to the source of Trevino’s money came as he gained more recognition in the industry and when he moved his family from Texas to a large, state-of-the-art farm in Oklahoma after claiming to be a brick layer. Some of his records show Trevino having others sign for business agreements and sales purchases.
“From all appearances, he looked like anyone else interested in quarter horses,” said one person in the industry who knows José Treviño. “But he had a massive amount of money, with no good explanation where it came from. And he had a family name that made a lot of people wonder.”