The son of the ultimate leader of the Gulf Cartel will spend more than eight years in a U.S. prison for coordinating the shipment of weapons into Mexico for the criminal organization once led by his father. He was on supervised release at the time of his arrest. The narco-heir has a long history of prior convictions on weapons charges and is currently facing multiple charges in a Texas court for a violent stabbing in the border city of Brownsville.
This week, Osiel “Ozo” Cardenas Jr. went before U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez in Brownsville where he received a sentence of 100 months — more than eight years — in prison. Cardenas previously pleaded guilty to a weapons smuggling charge on August 2, 2022, in connection with the purchase of ten rifles to be smuggled into Mexico.
Cardenas Jr. is the son of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who was the ultimate leader of the Gulf Cartel and the founder of Los Zetas at a time when the criminal organization was one of the most powerful in Mexico. Since the capture, extradition, and sentencing of the elder Cardenas, the Gulf Cartel has undergone a series of fractures and power struggles.
The most recent case against the younger Cardenas began on April 2021, when as Breitbart Texas reported, agents with Homeland Security Investigations learned that he sent a person to Mexico to get $15,000 that would be used to purchase ten rifles. The purchase was done at a time when Cardenas, a convicted felon, was on supervised release as part of a sentence for a prior crime.
Authorities arrested Cardenas in December 2021 in connection with another crime. The U.S. Marshals Service arrested him for violating his probation in connection with a bar stabbing in early December. As Breitbart Texas reported, Cardenas crashed a Christmas party and after getting kicked out stabbed two men. That case pending in a Texas district court.
The supervised release was in connection with a March 2018 case where he, already a convicted felon, pulled out a gun at a bar. When police arrived, he claimed to be a federal agent and flashed a stolen Cameron County District Attorney’s Office badge. For that crime received a sentence of more than two years.
His first federal felony arrest came in January 2015 when he tried to smuggle hundreds of rounds and weapons parts into Mexico. Cardenas received a ten-month prison sentence.
“The sentencing of this individual sends a stern message that those who purchase, transport, and facilitate the smuggling of weapons will face the full extent of the law,” said Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge, Craig Larrabee.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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