Prosecutors say a racehorse-buying operation was supposed to be a clandestine way for one of Mexico's most powerful and violent drug cartels to launder its illegal proceeds in the United States.
But authorities reined in the operation partly because those who ran it didn't keep a low profile, spending millions of dollars in an industry going through tough times and owning horses with such names as Number One Cartel.
At least four of the 18 individuals indicted in the scheme are set to be tried in an Austin federal courtroom starting Monday.
The trial is expected to offer insight into the Zetas drug cartel's internal workings and highlight what some cartel experts say was a rookie mistake by an organized crime outfit: drawing attention to yourself.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.