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 Treasury Designates Family Members and Accomplices of Los Zetas Boss Omar Trevino Morales


8/1/2013

 Action Targets Wife and Father-in-Law for Money Laundering Activities

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Jesus Fernandez de Luna and his cattle sales company Compania Ganadera 5 Manantiales.  Mexican national Jesus Fernandez de Luna engages in drug trafficking activities for the violent drug cartel Los Zetas, the recently-arrested Miguel Trevino Morales, and his brother Omar Trevino Morales.  Los Zetas leaders Miguel and Omar Trevino Morales have used proceeds from their involvement in the narcotics trade to purchase American quarter horses, and launder the money through Jesus Fernandez de Luna and his cattle business.  Mexican authorities arrested Miguel Trevino Morales on July 15, 2013.

“Omar Trevino Morales’s wife and father-in-law have been involved in money laundering activities on behalf of the notoriously violent Los Zetas.  As we work to support our Mexican partners, we will continue to target anyone involved in these activities, including family members of cartel bosses who provide essential support to these violent narcotics organizations,” said Treasury’s Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Adam J. Szubin. 

Today’s action, taken pursuant to the Kingpin Act, generally prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with these designees and freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Omar Trevino Morales established Compania Ganadera 5 Manantiales as a money laundering front for his wife, Carolina Fernandez Gonzalez, and her father, Jesus Fernandez de Luna.  Shareholders include Jesus Fernandez de Luna and his wife, Esperanza Maria Gonzalez Muniz, and its principal officers, shareholders, and original incorporators include Jesus Fernandez de Luna, his brother, Gerardo Fernandez de Luna, and his brother-in-law, Emilio Guillermo Gonzalez Muniz.

Jesus Fernandez de Luna is wanted in the Western District of Texas (Austin Division) for conspiring to conceal or disguise drug proceeds for Miguel and Omar Trevino Morales.  In September 2012, Jesus Fernandez de Luna purchased four valuable racehorses for Miguel and Omar Trevino Morales through Compania Ganadera 5 Manantiales.  The U.S. Government seized and sold these horses at auction.  Additionally, in 2001, the Western District of Texas (Del Rio Division) indicted Jesus Fernandez de Luna, and his brother Gerardo Fernandez de Luna, along with Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, on narcotics trafficking charges.

The President identified Los Zetas as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act in April 2009, and on July 24, 2011, he named Los Zetas as a significant Transnational Criminal Organization in the Annex to Executive Order 13581 (Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations).  OFAC designated Los Zetas leaders Miguel and Omar Trevino Morales on July 20, 2009 and March 24, 2010, respectively. 

Today’s action is OFAC’s third designation targeting Los Zetas in the last three months.  In July 2013, OFAC designated two key financial operators for Los Zetas, and in May 2013, OFAC designated a major narcotics trafficker responsible for smuggling multiple tons of marijuana and cocaine, monthly, from Mexico to the U.S. for Miguel Trevino Morales and Omar Trevino Morales.

Additionally, last year OFAC designated Los Zetas front man Francisco Colorado Cessa and his company ADT Petroservicios for laundering millions of dollars of drug proceeds through the American quarter-horse racing and breeding industry for Miguel and Omar Trevino Morales.  The U.S. Government has seized and auctioned hundreds of horses worth millions of dollars as part of an investigation of Los Zetas money laundering operations.  In May 2013, Francisco Colorado Cessa was convicted of charges related to money laundering in U.S. District Court Western District of Texas (Austin Division).

Today’s action would not be possible without the support and cooperation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Government of Mexico. 

Internationally, OFAC has designated more than 1,300 individuals and entities linked to 103 drug kingpins since June 2000.  OFAC designations are part of an ongoing effort to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations worldwide.  Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties.  Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million.  Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million.  Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.

 

For a chart relating to today’s actions click here.

 

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