A former Mexican border state governor blamed for letting cartels flourish will spend nine years in a U.S. prison for laundering millions in bribes. He is one of two former Tamaulipas governors indicted in Texas.
This week, Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba went before U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera at a federal courthouse in Houston. Olvera sentenced Yarrington to 108 months in prison followed by deportation proceedings. During the hearing, it was revealed that he laundered between $3.5 million to $9.5 million.
The former Tamaulipas governor originally faced eight charges including drug trafficking conspiracy, money laundering, bank fraud, and others. He pleaded guilty to two money laundering charges in March 2021. Yarrington avoided the more serious charges that directly connected him to the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas. Those charges were dismissed.
Yarrington served as the governor of Tamaulipas from 1999 to 2005. During that time, the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas were able to operate with complete impunity — setting the stage for years of terror-filled violence continuing to this day. After his term ended, court documents revealed that Yarrington worked with the Beltran Leyva Cartel and Los Zetas to help them get access to the Port of Veracruz.
After his term in office, Yarrington lived a life of luxury in South Padre Island, Texas, and properties in Mexico. At one point, federal prosecutors claimed he may have taken more than $110 million in illicit funds. After being named a fugitive by the U.S. in 2012, Yarrington lived for several years in Mexico where Breitbart Texas uncovered that Yarrington and his successor, Eugenio Hernandez, had government-paid police working as their bodyguards despite being fugitives.
After politicians in Mexico were no longer able to protect him, Yarrington fled to Rome where he tried to hide under a false name. Agents with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations caught him coming out of a restaurant. Mexican authorities tried to take credit for the arrest and initially tried to have him sent to Mexico instead of Texas.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected].
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected].