Zetas associates plead guilty to US bribery charge

Zetas cartel associates plead guilty to attempting to bribe US judge in horse track case

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Three Mexican citizens have pleaded guilty to attempting to bribe a federal judge who was hearing a case on how the Zetas drug cartel laundered money by trading in American racehorses.

The U.S. attorney in Austin said Franceso Colorado Cessa, son Francisco Colorado Cessa Jr., and business associate Ramon Segura Flores entered the plea Wednesday. The men will remain in custody until sentencing.

Federal agents said the three men tried to arrange a $1.2 million bribe for District Judge Sam Sparks the day before he sentenced the senior Cessa for his role in the money laundering.

The FBI and Austin set up a sting after recording conversations between Cessa and his son at the Bastrop County Jail. Segura Flores, a business associate, helped arrange the attempted bribe.