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Seeking to grab a larger portion of the $25 billion cocaine, heroin and marijuana market in the United States, Los Zetas is estimated to have between 1,000 and 3,000 hard-core members and 10,000 loyalists across Mexico, Central America and the United States.

A 2009 indictment handed up in federal court in Washington said Trevino Morales was actively involved in managing the activities of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, including the coordination of cocaine and marijuana shipments into the U.S. and the receipt of bulk cash shipments into Mexico from the United States.