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The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated 22 individuals and 10 companies as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers for their ties to the Mexico-based Beltran Leyva Organization.   Pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), today's designation freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the designees.  

The Beltran Leyva Organization and its leader, Marcos Arturo Beltran Leyva, both of whom were identified as kingpins in May 2008 by the President, are responsible for smuggling multi-ton shipments of cocaine from Central and South America and multi-kilogram shipments of heroin from Mexico into the United States.    The organization is also responsible for countless murders of counternarcotics personnel within Mexico's law enforcement and military community.   Since 2008 the Beltran Leyva Organization has also waged a violent war against rival Sinaloa Cartel (identified as a kingpin organization in April 2009) organizations led by Joaquin Guzman Loera (identified as a kingpin in June 2001), Ignacio Coronel Villareal (identified as a kingpin in June 2005) and Ismael Zambada Garcia (identified as a Kingpin in May 2002).  

"The Beltran Leyva Organization is responsible for acts of terrible violence in the pursuit of money," said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin.   "Today's action aims to disrupt their ill-gotten gains, targeting a wide network of commercial entities used to move, launder, and conceal proceeds of their crimes."

The Beltran Leyva Organization operators and their associates who were designated today control companies involved in air and vehicle shipping, electronics retailing, import/export of health products, business consulting and hospitality services.   The companies are located throughout Mexico in the states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Chiapas, Sonora, Jalisco, Estado de Mexico, Baja California Norte and the Distrito Federal.

Hector Beltran Leyva was indicted for drug trafficking by Federal Grand Juries in the District of Columbia (2004) and the Eastern District of New York (2009).   In addition, Hector Beltran Leyva is also wanted for drug trafficking by Mexican federal authorities and is the subject of a reward of up to US $2 million (30,000,000 Mexican Pesos) for information leading to his arrest.   On January 20, 2008, Alfredo Beltran Leyva was arrested by Mexican federal authorities, pursuant to organized crime, drug trafficking, and unauthorized use of military grade weapons charges.  

Today's designation would not have been possible without key support from the DEA's Mexico Country Office, Chicago Field Division, Financial Operations Division and El Paso Field Division.   

This action is part of ongoing efforts under the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers worldwide.   Internationally, more than 500 businesses and individuals associated with 82 drug kingpins have been designated pursuant to the Kingpin Act 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 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.




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