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 Treasury Targets Leading Figures of Sinaloa Cartel


Action Includes Sanctions against Top Cartel Lieutenant and Chapo Guzman’s Father-in-Law


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of two key Sinaloa Cartel operatives, including a senior lieutenant of the cartel and the father-in-law of Sinaloa drug lord Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera. 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 two individuals, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction. 

OFAC is designating top Sinaloa Cartel lieutenant Damaso Lopez Nunez for his role in the narcotics trafficking activities of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera and for playing a significant role in international narcotics trafficking. Lopez Nunez, alias “El Licenciado,” helped Guzman Loera escape from Mexican federal prison in 2001. He has since become one of the top lieutenants of the Sinaloa Cartel, which is responsible for multiple-ton shipments of narcotics from Mexico into the United States. OFAC is also designating Ines Coronel Barreras for his role in the narcotics trafficking activities of Guzman Loera. Ines Coronel Barreras is the father of Emma Coronel Aispuro, Guzman Loera’s third wife.  The President identified Joaquin Guzman Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2001 and 2009, respectively.

“Today, OFAC designated Chapo Guzman’s right-hand man and his father-in-law,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin.  “Working with our federal law enforcement partners, we will continue to go after the Sinaloa Cartel’s holdings and support structure, wherever they are located.”

Today’s action would not have been possible without the support of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Internationally, OFAC has designated more than 1,200 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.

View a chart of the Chapo Guzman organization:



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