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Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
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Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

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Newsmonger: This 'rational' energy discussion is brought to you by Shell, Home invasion or drug cartel spillover?

Photo: Michael Barajas, License: N/A

Michael Barajas

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After an hours-long Stone Oak standoff last week, San Antonio police arrested the son of an accused cartel money launderer who was tagged by the feds in a major corruption probe stretching from Mexico to San Antonio earlier this year. Antonio Peña Jr. and two other men broke into the Stone Oak home of Peña's father's girlfriend in the early morning hours last Tuesday, police said, leading to a standoff with an SAPD SWAT team. Peña's father was arrested in February at the same home after the feds indicted him on charges that he for years laundered money while serving as an intermediary between leaders of the brutal Gulf and Zetas cartels and Tamaulipas officials on the take. Court documents filed in May allege that the elder Peña's associates set up a handful of shell companies and partnerships in San Antonio and elsewhere to launder cash from drug traffickers to high-level elected officials and other political candidates in Mexico. Court documents filed this year implicate former Tamaulipas governor Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, though he hasn't been charged in the U.S. or Mexico.

Federal authorities have accused the elder Peña of transferring millions from accounts in Mexico to banks in San Antonio. Peña, the feds allege in court documents, had been hiding out in San Antonio since last November, when cartel members killed his brother and dumped his body at a Nuevo Laredo monument with a banner threatening Peña and accusing him of stealing $5 million from the cartel.

Police last week speculated that Peña Jr. may have held his father's girlfriend hostage because he thought she spilled information that led to his arrest this past February.

With San Antonio emerging as a popular spot for cartel money laundering, at least according to court documents, the Current this week asked SA police chief William McManus whether last week's standoff was an indication of so-called cartel "spillover," or just another home invasion. McManus declined to comment, with a statement from the department saying only, "This case remains under investigation and the motive is yet unknown."

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