Feds use rarely-used law to accuse 12 of violent scheme to monopolize business at U.S. border with Mexico.

The Justice Department invoked the rarely used Sherman Act to charge 12 people with running a deadly scheme to “monopolize” resale of U.S. cars in Central America.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department used a rarely-used, 132-year old law to indict 12 people for running a violent and sometimes fatal scheme to “monopolize” American car resale in Central America. This involved fixing prices and taking revenge against those who refused to pay.

The Sherman Act of 1890 was an antitrust regulation that was used to dismantle American monopolies Standard Oil and AT&T. It was a law brought by the Justice Department against the group.

According to the indictment, Carlos Favian Martinez (known as “Cuate”) is one of the men being charged. He was the son-in-law and former head of the powerful and violent Mexican drug trafficking organization also known as Gulf Cartel.

The indictment stated that those who challenged the group faced threats, kidnappings, and even death.

Aug. 16, 202203:18

The scheme involved the extortion of fees, which were then placed in a collection called “the Pool”, which was later divided among the defendants according to the Southern District of Texas indictment.

Indictment addresses range from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to Matamoros, Mexico. According to the indictment, the group met at Harlingen’s Holiday Inn, Texas in March 2019 in order to split $44,000 cash.

“As alleged this criminal organisation committed heinous act of violence against persons who would not participate its illegal activities,” stated Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Nov. 23, 202205:18

According to the charges, a woman and her boyfriend were taken hostage in Mexico in February 2019. The kidnappers claimed that the couple had been abducted by her father who was working for an agency that threatened “the Pool”.

Two people were killed when gunfire erupted near the border with Mexico.

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