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Mexican drug cartel's horses sold for $8.8M

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The U.S. government says it's made $8.8 million from auctioning more than 300 horses bought and trained as part of a Mexican drug cartel's money-laundering operation.

Two-thirds of the horses were sold at an auction Thursday in Oklahoma City. The Justice Department says one, A Dash of Sweet Heat, sold for $1 million. About 100 broodmares were sold previously for $35,000.

The federal government still has about 45 quarter horses, including top stakes winners, for sale later. Proceeds will be placed in escrow pending forfeiture proceedings.

Authorities say 15 people funneled millions of dollars in drug profits through quarter horse operations. Most of the horses seized came from a sprawling ranch in Lexington, Okla., that prosecutors say was run by Jose Trevino Morales, brother of two alleged Zeta cartel leaders.

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