The remaining five quarter horses along with four embryos, part of more than 400 seized by federal authorities in June 2012 in connection with an alleged Los Zetas money laundering operation, have been sold for approximately $3.1 million, including Tempting Dash which sold for a record $1.7 million, announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steve McCollough.
The horses, which were sold Friday, November 1, 2013, at Heritage Place Auction Facility in Oklahoma City, OK, included Tempting Dash, winner of the Dash for Cash at Lone Star Park race track in Grand Prairie, Texas, on October 24, 2009; Mr. Piloto, $1 million All American Futurity winner at Ruidoso Downs on Labor Day, 2010; Do Not Tempt Me, Dashin Follies; and, Separate Fire.
United States Attorney Robert Pitman noted that the proceeds from the sale of the quarter horses, totaling close to $12 million, will be held in escrow pending a final forfeiture action. Court documents allege that the horses were bought by and for members of the Los Zetas drug cartel with proceeds from narcotics trafficking.
“Like all criminal organizations, the Zetas are motivated by money. Identifying and taking their assets is an important way to lay an axe to the root of the tree. The forfeiture of these assets would represent a major step in our efforts to interrupt the cartel’s activity within this country,” stated United States Attorney Pitman. “It's always an added bonus when we are able to make the cartels effectively pay the costs of their own prosecutions.”
“This investigation has helped to disrupt this alleged international drug cartel’s U.S.-based money laundering operations and demonstrates the lengths that US law enforcement will go to deprive criminal organizations of the fruits of their illegal activities,” stated IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Steve McCullough.
The sale of the horses is being made as a result of a court order in U.S. v. Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, et al. (WDTX case number A12cr210) and in accordance with industry practices.