Gulf Cartel 'heir' arrested during Port Isabel traffic stop

The heir to the Gulf Cartel drug trafficking empire is behind bars in the Rio Grande Valley after being arrested following a traffic stop in Port Isabel.

Port Isabel police pulled over Rafael Cardenas-Vela for a traffic violation last Thursday.

The city's police chief told Action 4 News that the officer noticed discrepencies with Cardenas-Vela's visa card.

The officer called U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who interivewed Cardenas-Vela.

Court records unsealed on Monday show that Cardenas-Vela was using an authentic Mexican passport and authentic United States visa under the name Pedro Garcia-Gonzalez.

Cardenas-Vela, who goes by the nickames "Junior" or "El Junior," allegedly admitted to agents that that was not his name and that he didn't have permission to be in the United States.

According to reports, Cardenas-Vela is the nephew of jailed Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cardenas-Guillen and slain Gulf Cartel leader Antonio Cardenas-Guillen, who went by the nickname "Tony Tormenta" and was killed in a Matamoros gun battle back in November 2010.

Court records show that Cardenas-Vela admitted to being involving in marijuana and cocaine trafficking for the past several years.

In one shipment two years ago, Cardenas-Vela allegedly possessed and sold five tons of marijuana.

Cardenas-Vela appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan in Brownsville on Friday.

Judge Morgan denied bond for Cardenas-Vela until a Wednesday afternoon hearing but court records show that Cardenas-Vela waived the hearing in a Tuesday decision.

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