WACO, Texas (AP) — A 38-year-old man authorities describe as a former leader of the Zetas drug cartel in Mexico is scheduled for a federal court trial starting Monday in Waco on charges of conspiracy to traffic drugs inland through South Texas, conspiracy to possess firearms and laundering millions of dollars in drug proceeds.
Juan Francisco Treviño Chavez Jr., also known as "Kiko" or "Comandante Kiko," is charged with seven counts. Five carry penalties of up to life in prison. He was arrested nearly two years ago outside Houston.
At a bail hearing in February, a federal agent testified Trevino has denied being a cartel leader. Records show he's turned down a plea deal that carried a 30-year prison sentence.
Del Rio-based U.S. District Judge Alia Moses asked the trial be moved to Waco.