Cartel leader indicted in San Antonio; arrest caused retaliatory shooting, burnings on border

After Juan Gerardo Treviño-Chavez’s arrest, gang shot up Nuevo Laredo

Juan Gerardo Trevino-Chavez, aka Huevo, 39, of Laredo was arrested in San Diego, CA, on criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in drug trafficking in Mexico and the United States.

SAN ANTONIO – The leader of Cartel Del Noreste, a bloodthirsty gang of border hitmen, has been indicted in San Antonio on drugs and weapons charges.

Juan Gerardo Treviño-Chavez, also known as “Huevo,” or Egg, was deported from Mexico and arrested in San Diego on Tuesday.

An indictment unsealed on Tuesday charges Treviño with his alleged involvement in drug trafficking in Mexico and the U.S., and his role within the Cartel Del Noreste, or the Northeast Cartel, the successor to Los Zetas.

Trevino was charged with 11 counts including unlawful distribution of controlled substances, money laundering, possession of a machine gun in furtherance of drug trafficking, and conspiracy to import with intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, according to the indictment.

After his arrest on Sunday, members of Treviño’s gang shot up the city of Nuevo Laredo, across the Rio Grande from Laredo, and even hit the U.S. consulate with gunfire. Suspected cartel members also hijacked and burned vehicles, apparently in retaliation.

Two U.S. border bridges leading to Laredo were briefly closed because of the incident.

The Mexican army said he was the leader of an extremely violent and heavily armed gang of cartel gunmen known as “The Troops of Hell.” Treviño is reportedly the nephew of Miguel Angel Treviño, the imprisoned former leader of the Zetas.

The cartel has participated in some of the bloodiest, most tenacious turf battles in Mexico, attacking both Mexican law enforcement personnel and the rival Gulf cartel.

In 2019, gunmen from the Northeast staged a massive gunbattle in another border state, Coahuila, that killed 24 people. The drug cartel killed four state police officers, a local firefighter and an employee of the town’s public works department in the small town of Villa Union. A total of 18 suspected gunmen also died in the confrontations.

Treviño, who reportedly had two illegal guns when he was detained, faces charges of extortion, homicide and terrorism in Mexico.

Ricardo Mejia, Mexico’s assistant secretary of public safety, said Treviño was extracted because he is a U.S. citizen.

Treviño was handed over to the U.S. at a border bridge in Tijuana, far to the west of Nuevo Laredo, presumably to avoid attempts to free him.


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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.