Published: Jun 15, 2012 10:45 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 16, 2012 6:31 AM EDT

McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Federal agents have been forced to seize a dozen horses in New Mexico that are part of a racing operation allegedly laundering money for one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels, after their trainers refused to continue caring for them.

Prosecutors said in court documents filed Friday that they'd hoped a previous protective order would force companies used to front the operation to pay for the continued care of more than 400 horses. But the government will now care for 12 abandoned this week.

Authorities had estimated it would have cost Jose Trevino, among those charged with money laundering, $200,000 a month to care for all the horses. Among those seized at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico were Break Out the Bullets and Eye on Corona.