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Former Mexican drug cartel leader on trial in federal court

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Posted at 11:57 AM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 20:40:14-04

A man who authorities say is a former leader of a Mexican drug cartel is on trial in federal court in Waco. 

According to an indictment, Juan Francisco Treviño Chavez Jr., also known as "Kiko", is charged with conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, conspiracy to possess firearms and laundering millions of dollars in drug profits. 

Treviño Chavez Jr. is facing seven counts. 

The indictment said he is a former leader of the Los Zetas drug cartel in Mexico. Los Zetas is a "powerful drug trafficking organization" and "one of the largest drug cartels operating in Mexico", court documents said. 

Security was tight at the U.S. Federal Courthouse for the first day of the trial. Waco police and Homeland Security were seen near the courthouse.

A jury was seated Monday afternoon.

The government and the defense gave their opening statements on Monday. In their opening statement, the government said Treviño moved thousands of pounds of cocaine and marijuana through Texas, including Waco. The defense said their client is innocent.

After opening statements, the government called its first witness, who said he was part of the Zetas cartel.

U.S. District Judge Alia Moses is presiding over the proceedings.

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