Federal agents say information provided by a convicted Houston gunrunner that could lead them to top Mexican drug-cartel bosses and the Texas firearms dealers suppling high-powered weapons, the Houston Chronicle reports. Christian Garza was sentenced to three years in federal prison under a plea agreement that offered leniency in exchange for telling U.S. officials about his criminal contacts.
The Zetas cartel, a crime syndicate launched by former members of the Mexican military, thrives across the border from Texas and is battling rival traffickers as well as the Mexican government. The Zetas are known for being gruesome, aggressive and efficient. Top leaders are dodging capture, despite multimillion-dollar rewards for their arrests by the U.S. and Mexican governments. Garza was a member of an arms-trafficking group that sent more than 300 military-style weapons to Mexico. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives contends Houston is the No. 1 spot of origin for weapons that have been traced from Mexican organized crime scenes back to the United States.