Action Targets Two Additional
WASHINGTON – The
U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated two entities linked to Juan
Jose Esparragoza Moreno (a.k.a. El Azul), a leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. Today’s action, pursuant to the Foreign
Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits U.S. persons from
conducting financial or commercial transactions with these entities and
individuals, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
“Today’s action serves as a reminder to Esparragoza Moreno
that he and his organization remain in our sights,” said Treasury Office of
Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Director Adam J. Szubin. “Numerous entities within the Mexican private
sector have voluntarily severed ties with Esparragoza Moreno’s corporate
network, helping to significantly disrupt and isolate this organization. However, it should be noted that any company
or individual that continues to act on behalf of or support this network could
become the target of sanctions.”
The President identified Esparragoza Moreno and the Sinaloa
Cartel as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act
in 2003 and 2009, respectively.
Esparragoza Moreno was indicted on drug trafficking charges in the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Texas in 2003. He is wanted in both the U.S. and Mexico. The U.S. State Department Narcotics Rewards
Program is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to
Esparragoza Moreno’s arrest and/or conviction while Mexican authorities are
offering 30 million pesos for information leading to his capture. Esparragoza Moreno has been active in drug
trafficking since the 1970s.
Today’s action targets two Mexican entities. Socialika
Rentas y Catering, S.A. de C.V. is an event planning company registered in
Cancun that owns and operates Terraza
9140, a banquet hall in Zapopan, a town near Guadalajara. Socialika
Rentas y Catering, S.A. de C.V. is owned and managed by Brenda Guadalupe
Esparragoza Moreno, the daughter of Esparragoza Moreno who was previously
designated because she acts on behalf of her father. Urbanizadora
Nueva Italia, S.A. de C.V., a real estate company located in Guadalajara,
is the other entity designated today.
This company is owned and managed by Juvencio Ignacio Gonzalez Parada,
who was previously designated because he acts on behalf of Esparragoza
Moreno. Urbanizadora Nueva Italia, S.A. de C.V. sells homes at the
previously-designated residential community Provenza
Residencial, which is controlled by Esparragoza Moreno and is located in
Tlajomulco de Zuniga, a town near Guadalajara.
The designation of these two entities follows a previous Treasury
action targeting Esparragoza Moreno. On
July 24, 2012, Treasury designated nine entities and ten individuals linked to
Esparragoza Moreno. The entities include
the Tlajomulco de Zuniga-based property management companies Grupo Cinjab, S.A. de C.V., which
manages the aforementioned Provenza
Residencial, and Grupo Impergoza,
S.A. de C.V., which manages the Provenza
Center shopping mall and the La
Tijera Parque Industrial warehouse facility. Also designated on that day were seven gas
station companies located in Culiacan, Sinaloa: Buenos Aires Servicios, S.A. de C.V., Estaciones de Servicios Canarias, S.A. de C.V., Gasodiesel y Servicios Ancona, S.A. de C.V.,
Gasolinera Alamos Country, S.A. de C.V.,
Gasolinera y Servicios Villabonita, S.A.
de C.V., Petrobarrancos, S.A. de C.V.,
and Servicios Chulavista, S.A. de C.V.
Today’s action would not have been possible without the
support of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Internationally, Treasury has designated more than 1,100
businesses and individuals linked to 97 drug kingpins since June 2000. 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 could 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.
To view a chart of the
Esparragoza Moreno Organization, see link.