Jury hears testimony in Padilla trial

By MADELINE BUCKLEY/The Brownsville Herald 

The Mexican Mafia used Jo Ann Chavez, the 33-year-old Harlingen mother slain in 2003, to lure distributors to do business with the drug-trafficking prison gang, a lieutenant in the organization testified Tuesday.

The criminal organization’s drug business spanned from South Texas to northern states such as Ohio, Michigan and Massachusetts, Oscar Esteban Salazar told the jury in the capital murder trial of alleged gang captain Wilfredo Padilla.

Chavez was in a relationship with a drug dealer in Ohio working with the South Texas Mexican Mafia sector of which Padilla was captain, and helped arbitrate business deals, Salazar said.

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