To recoup their losses, Los Zetas in northern Coahuila implemented a mechanism similar to liens (often ending in forcible possession of property), required by local drug dealers to back any drug transaction that had to do with the organization.
This mechanism was imposed by Raul Lucio Hernández Lechuga, "El Lucky." It was one of the historical controls the organization used to take control of buildings, malls from traffickers who failed in their obligation to deliver drugs, weapons or money, the record indicates 4:11CR79 Federal Court Eastern District of Texas
From Gerardo's March, 2011 post in Borderland Beat:Mario Alfonso Cuéllar "Poncho", Lucio Hernández's subordinate was arrested in March 2011 in Texas. He told U.S. prosecutors that "El Lucky" earned the plundering as standard to regulate the drug trade in the border cities of Coahuila. Thanks to this imposed system, "El Lucky" amassed a fortune in accrued real estate, shops and restaurants robbed in Piedras Negras, if there failed to be sufficient value to cover the guarantee of a drug shipment the person was killed without extension or mercy.
"The current leader of the Piedras Negras plaza is reported to be Raul Lucio Hernandez Lechuga “el Lucky”, a Zeta Viejo or member of the initial corp of Zetas that defected from the Mexican Army and joined forces with the Gulf Cartel under Osiel Cardenas, now under custody in the U.S. prison system.
Lucio Hernandez is reported to be the owner of several businesses using assumed names, among them the Black City mall and Mario’s Steakhouse. Adriana Monserrat Cardenas, an associate and lover of el Lucky, is reported to manage several of his business interests in Piedras Negras, along with other members of her family.
Under Lucio Hernandez in the plaza hierarchy is Mario Alfonso “Poncho” Cuellar, also known as Coahuila’s “rey de la heroina”, an ex-officer with the now defunct Policia Federal de Caminos (federal transit police). Poncho Cuellar was initially recruited and mentored by the late Tony Tormenta and is now reported to be a close friend and associate of “El 40” Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, who is in the highest leadership circle of the Los Zetas cartel."
"During the time I worked with the organization, I saw Hernández Lechuga routinely take away goods from those who failed in their attempts to smuggle drugs on behalf of the organization. "In 2008, Hernandez Lechuga seized the Black City Mall shopping center and Mario's Steak House Steakhouse in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, that belonged to drug traffickers who did not pay for the drugs committed to the organization of Hernandez Lechuga."Specifically, I learned that a client in Austin or Dallas, Texas did not pay for delivery of approximately 100 kilos of cocaine, which caused Hernandez Lechuga to seize Mario's Steak House as payment from the person who had organized the deal." said the former associate of "El Lucky" on April 9, 2012.
"Poncho" is a Mexico-American who worked for "El Lucky" between 2006 and 2011 in the trafficking of drugs to Dallas and Austin. When he was arrested, he pleaded guilty and now his testimony is key to the extradition of Zeta leader captured in Veracruz on December 12, 2011.
According to his account with US the authorities, the boss originally from Pachuca, Hidalgo, was unyielding and relentless with creditors who had the misfortune of not being able overcome and guarantee their losses.
"In 2008 Hernandez Lechuga kidnapped a person for 15 days who had coordinated and failed to smuggle approximately 60 kilos of cocaine on behalf of the organization. It which had been seized by law enforcement in the area of Nogales, near Eagle Pass, Texas."
"I saw Hernandez Lechuga hanging around the area for about 15 days, telling everyone that this was how he treated those who didn't take care of drug shipments. Later I learned that Hernandez Lechuga killed that person," said "Poncho" Cuellar to the North American law enforcement. One time in order to to avoid "El Lucky's" elimination one of his drug distributor in Dallas, "el Poncho" used his money to cover the loss to Los Zetas.
"In January 2010, Jose Vazquez lost a shipment of about 5 kilos of cocaine that belonged to drug trafficking organization Hernandez Lechuga. It was seized by law enforcement around Dallas, Texas.
"He owed approximately $80,000 to $100,000 dollars to Los Zetas/Hernandez Lechuga for the drugs that were lost, for which I paid directly from my own funds so as to not declare thel oss to Hernandez Lechuga."
Cuellar recalls that in November 2008, the Zetas decided to send "El Lucky" to Veracruz, where would be plaza boss until he was arrested by the Navy, December 2011.
The border did not change much.
"After that Omar Treviño Morales took control of the region and all routes formerly controlled by Hernandez Lechuga," said "Poncho".
The cell of Los Zetas crossing drugs in this area began to weaken. on January 28, 2010, the DEA raided a safe house in Dallas,Texas, they seized 10 kilos of cocaine and more than 500 pounds of marijuana.
The information of this operation led to the a confiscation of guns on May 20. A truck commissioned by "El Lucky" was secured with 59 assault rifles and 49 high capacity magazines in La Pryor, Texas.
After the November 9, 2010, a home was searched in the town of Rowlett, Texas, where they arrested an accountant with $557,000 who reported directly to Hernandez Lechuga to Veracruz. Approximately $150,000 was the kingpin's.
On January 23, 2011 Americans captured a subject with 30 kilos of cocaine at the border from Eagle Pass. The detainee was a trusted trafficker of "El Lucky, Hugo César Román Chavarria "El Vecino," "
His arrest would be the prelude to the arrest of Mario Alfonso Cuéllar "Poncho," perhaps the man closest to Hernandez Lechuga, in Texas in March of that year.
Los Zetas invest in Texas and Las Vegas
Los Zetas had investment property in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Dallas, Texas, and other various real estate holdings related to Lucio Hernandez Lechuga, "El Lucky", one of the most senior members of the cartel, held since December 12, 2011 in Veracruz.
The U.S. Justice Department asked the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Texas to seize 10 properties linked to Los Zetas, 8 of them in Texas and two of the Las Vegas. According to the record 4: 11CR79, a request for the seizure of jewelry valued at $ 655,624 dollars $1,722,266 dollars in cash from Terra Torrel Evans, an alleged accomplice of a Los Zeta leader in Dallas. They also moved to confiscate five accounts from this person and the DMT Group Inc, in the Oak State Bank and JP Morgan Chase.
The authorities request the Sherman Division of the Court to issue a warrant to seize the equivalent of $ 5 million from those implicated, a figure of the estimated earnings obtained from the sale of cocaine and marijuana.
Among 17 subjects implicated in the court case are"El Lucky" and his alleged accomplice Mario Alfonso Cuéllar " El Poncho", detained in Texas and who has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking for profit.
The case information indicates that many of the properties that were ordered confiscated in an application dated April 12, 2012. These properties were used as Los Zetas safehouses, distribution centers or storage for weapons or money.
Among the properties the U.S. authority seeks to confiscate are located at 11319 Patti, Balch Springs, Texas,75180, specifically Lot 3 of Morton Gonsior, 3008 Sherry Lane, in Balch Springs, Dallas County.Based on the record, the prosecution also asked for confiscation of several properties Unit 601 and Unit 732 of 2405 West Serene Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89123. .
US authorities want to confiscate properties at 304 Slaughter Avenue and 6342 Belmont Avenue, both in the 75214, as well as 9211 Larchwood, in zip code 75238, Lot 13, Block B/7317 and the Block 12 of Lake Highlands Residences also in Dallas.
Two other properties intended to be forfeited in this county are the 3737 Middlefield, Dallas, TX 75253, and 10524 Oakwood Drive, Dallas, TX 75217. The only thing that belongs to a distinct demarcation is in the property 5108 Barbara Road, River Oaks, TX 76114, in Tarrant County.
In the case that "El Lucky" is extradited to the US, the Texas Court requires to be notified of the list of goods that his accomplices purchased with money derived from the sale of drugs on U.S. streets."El Lucky" has a warrant in the United States for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to launder money.