A federal judge sentenced one Zetas cartel member for laundering drug money through horse racing in Central Texas. Three others are awaiting their fate.
Jose Trevino Morales, a brother to two of the Mexican gang's top leaders, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Francisco Colorado Cessa was also sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors say the men ran a scheme that went through $16 million in 2 and half years to buy, train and race horses in Oklahoma.
The operation created fake companies and sometimes fixed races.
Defense Attorney Guy Womack told FOX 7 his client Fernando Garcia did not know he was working for the Zetas.
"I think in some cases they were given no choice but to cooperate, others like Fernado Garcia, my client, had a choice to work with these gentlemen but he did not know they were getting money from the Zetas," Womack said. "He had a chance to work for two men that were buying very expensive very high quality horses and he jumped at it."
Federal agents said horse owners, trainers and others crafted bank deposits to mask the drug money being used to fund the operation.