DHAKA: US federal prosecutors say they have arrested the brother of a suspected Mexican drug lord and dismantled a major money-laundering operation involving horse racing.
Jose Trevino Morales was one of seven people arrested in raids in Oklahama and New Mexico.
He is the brother of a suspected leader of the Zetas cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino, who remains at large.
Fourteen people in total have been indicted.
The charges were made public on Tuesday after dozens of federal agents raided a New Mexico race track and a ranch in Oklahoma.
They say that Jose Trevino spent millions of dollars on some of the best racehorses available.
He is accused of using drug money to buy, train, breed and race American horses.
Some of the horses carried names with drug references, such as Corona Coronita Cartel and Number One Cartel.
The company, Tremor Enterprises, was quite successful with some of its animals winning important races in the US.
Richard Weber, chief of the US Internal Revenue Service`s criminal investigation, told the AFP news agency that the case highlights the capacity of Mexican drug gangs "to establish footholds in legitimate US industries".
"This attack on the Zetas` most profitable money laundering schemes is an essential front in the war on drugs and will financially disrupt this violent international criminal organisation," he said.
The Zetas are one of the most powerful and ruthless drug cartels in Mexico.
Miguel Angel Trevino, known as "Z40", is believed to be the leader of the organisation.
BDST: 1140 HRS, JUN 13, 2012
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