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 Treasury Designates Colombian Crime Boss Jose Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos For Support To La Oficina De Envigado


5/3/2016

Action Also Targets Piedrahita Ceballos' Financial Network

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated Colombian national Jose Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).  Jose Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos, a patron of narcotics traffickers in Colombia, provides material support to the criminal group La Oficina de Envigado (La Oficina), which was designated by OFAC in June 2014.  OFAC also designated today seven other Colombian nationals and 11 entities in Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, and Argentina for their ties to Piedrahita Ceballos or the individuals and companies tied to him.  As a result of today's action, all assets of those designated that are based in the United States or that are in control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. 

"Jose Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos is a long-time supporter of drug cartels, including the Cali and North Valle cartels, and now La Oficina de Envigado," said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director.  "Today's action strips Piedrahita Ceballos of his commercial legitimacy and is the seventh designation in OFAC's continuing strategy to systematically dismantle La Oficina by targeting its leaders and financial and support networks."

OFAC designated La Oficina de Envigado as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act on June 26, 2014.  In addition to its direct involvement in narcotics trafficking, La Oficina is complicit in a variety of illicit activities including money laundering, extortion, and murder for hire.  Piedrahita Ceballos is currently a fugitive from a 1997 U.S. federal indictment in the Western District of Virginia for his role in a drug money laundering conspiracy involving the Cali Cartel.  Since the 1990s, Piedrahita Ceballos has built a network of lucrative businesses, mainly based in Colombia, while continuing his involvement in narcotics trafficking activities.  Among the largest of those entities designated today are Subasta Ganadera de Caucasia S.A. and Frigorifico del Cauca S.A.S., both of which operate in Colombia's cattle industry. 

Also designated today are a number of family members and business associates of Piedrahita Ceballos for their ties to Piedrahita Ceballos or the companies tied to him.  Specifically, OFAC designated Piedrahita Ceballos's wife, Claudia Jannet Castillo Londoño; two sons, Jose Piedrahita Castillo and Andres Piedrahita Castillo; and two business partners, Nelson Albeiro Palacio Montoya and Nelson Fernando Jaramillo Estrada.

OFAC and the Drug Enforcement Administration worked closely to execute today's action.
Since June 2000 more than 1,800 individuals and entities 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 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
To see the identifying information relating to today's actions, click here.
For a complete listing of designations pursuant to the Kingpin Act, click here.

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