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Drug broker “Pony” trafficked with various Mexican cartels, including La Familia Michoacán and Los Zetas

By David Amoruso

It’s easy to forget that narcotics is just like any other business – albeit a lot more violent. But in essence, the mechanism is the same. 43-year-old Gabino Peralta-Saucedo knew this all too well.

Nicknamed “Pony”, Peralta-Saucedo hails from Michoacán in Mexico and worked with not just one, but several drug cartels, including La Familia Michoacán and Los Caballeros Templarios. Why place all your eggs in one basket? in order to get drugs across the border into the United States, he cooperated with several more cartels, including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas.

  • READ: The Real Narcos: Profile of Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, Mexico’s “El Padrino” of drug lords

For over a decade, he coordinated the smuggling of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States from Mexico. More than 12,000 kilograms of cocaine were ultimately sold in and around Manatee County on his behalf, after he smuggled and distributed the drugs on behalf of various Mexican drug cartels. In addition, coconspirators possessed and distributed heroin in the Tampa Bay area.  

Peralta-Saucedo was arrested in Mexico in September of 2016 and was extradited to the United States in September of 2018. On Friday, Peralta-Saucedo pleaded guilty to drug charges. He faces a minimum mandatory term of 10 years, and up to life, in federal prison.

It may be a business just like any other, but the risks are much higher. The usual outcome of prison or death doesn’t quite compare to the risks of running an ice cream parlor either.

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