Zeta Drug Cartel

Andrew Weber for KUT News

Austin is no longer a “sleepy college town,” according to Police Chief Art Acevedo. Austin Police and the U.S. Attorney's office say as Austin grows, so does the risk of drug trafficking. Today, they announced two big busts – one involving a year-and-a-half investigation into a cartel-connected cocaine ring and another that yielded over 20 pounds of methamphetamine.

flickr.com/cefeida

Opening statements in a drug money laundering trial get underway in an Austin courtroom today. Among the men charged: Jose Trevino Morales. Federal prosecutors call Morales the brother of two top leaders of the Zeta drug cartel, and say he’s involved in a money-laundering scheme for the cartel: hiding millions of dollars in drug money in the horse racing business in Texas and other states.

"Top Zetas drug cartel leader Heriberto Lazcano has apparently been killed in a firefight with marines in the northern border state of Coahuila, the Mexican navy said late Monday." And, The Associated Press adds , "the report of Lazcano's death came just hours after the navy nabbed a suspected Zetas regional leader accused of involvement in some of the country's most notorious crimes in recent years. Navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara said Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo was arrested...

While the exact number of dead seems to be in flux, there is no question that the last few days have been incredibly bloody across Mexico. Proceso , a respected magazine that leans left, reports today that 43 people are dead in what the government says are executions related to organized crime. The Los Angeles Times , which tallied at least 29, says that the latest carnage has reminded people that the violence is unabated as the sixth anniversary of the government's war on the drug cartels...