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 Treasury Sanctions Business Network of the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization


8/19/2015

Action Targets Mexican Businesses and Nationals Linked to Powerful Mexican Drug Cartel

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 15 Mexican businesses and six Mexican individuals as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).  These entities and individuals provided financial support and services for the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) and its leader, Abigael Gonzalez Valencia, who were designated earlier this year for their significant roles in international narcotics trafficking. As a result of today’s action, any assets these entities and individuals may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

“The Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization is one of the most powerful and violent drug cartels in Mexico and today’s designation marks the first step in dismantling its significant business network,” said John E. Smith, Acting Director of OFAC.  “These businesses and individuals will no longer be able to operate under the veil of legitimacy.”

The Treasury Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division worked closely to execute today’s action, which is part of a larger effort by the Treasury Department to collaborate with Mexican authorities in the sanctioning of Mexican drug trafficking organization.

“These sanctions are the product of effective collaboration between OFAC and DEA to curb the flow of drug money into the legitimate financial world," said Anthony Williams, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division.‎ "DEA will continue to work with OFAC to identify and prosecute entities colluding with known drug trafficking organizations."‎
  
Among the 15 Mexican businesses designated today is Hotelito Desconocido, a boutique hotel located in Tomatlan, Jalisco that markets itself to wealthy vacationers seeking seclusion in a pristine environment.  Ahome Real Estate, S.A. de C.V. and Bric Inmobiliaria, real estate firms based in Guadalajara and Zapopan, Jalisco, respectively, were also designated today, as well as two shopping centers:  Plaza Los Tules in Zapopan, Jalisco and Xaman Ha Center in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo.

The following six Mexican nationals were designated today because of their links to the Los Cuinis DTO or its leader, Gonzalez Valencia:  Jeniffer Beaney Camacho Cazares, Diana Maria Sanchez Carlon, Silvia Romina Sanchez Carlon, Ma Elena Marquez Gallegos, Wendy Dalaithy Amaral Arevalo, and Fernando Torres Gonzalez.

On April 8, 2015, OFAC designated the Los Cuinis DTO and Gonzalez Valencia and its allies, the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) and its leader, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes (a.k.a. “Mencho”).  Gonzalez Valencia and Oseguera Cervantes are brothers-in-law, and in March 2014, based on a DEA investigation in Los Angeles, a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia indicted them on several charges, including being the principal leaders of a Continuing Criminal Enterprise.  Gonzalez Valencia was captured in Mexico in late February 2015, but Oseguera Cervantes remains a fugitive.

Since June 2000, more than 1,700 entities and individuals have been named pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking.  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 of 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 see a chart relating to today’s action, click here

For identifying information on the individuals and entities designated today, click here.

For a complete listing of designations pursuant to the Kingpin Act, click here​.

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