Today’s Action Sanctions Seven Companies Tied to Powerful Mexican Drug Cartel
WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned seven Mexican companies linked to the Mexico-based Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) and its leader, Abigael Gonzalez Valencia. Specifically, OFAC designated Agricola Boreal, Agricola Tavo, Desarrollo Agricola Organico, Desarrollo Agricola Verde de Sayula, Asesores Turisticos, Step Latinamedica, and Status Administrativo as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). As a result of today’s action, any assets these designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
“Today’s action takes another step in dismantling the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization and its prolific business network,” said John E. Smith, Acting Director of OFAC. “Treasury will continue to expose and isolate supporters of this wealthy and powerful Mexican criminal organization and its leader, Abigael Gonzalez Valencia.”
Agricola Boreal, Agricola Tavo, Desarrollo Agricola Organico, Desarrollo Agricola Verde de Sayula, Asesores Turisticos, Step Latinamedica, and Status Administrativo were designated today for being owned, controlled, and/or directed by the Los Cuinis DTO leader Abigael Gonzalez Valencia, Jeniffer Beaney Camacho Cazares (wife of Gonzalez Valencia), Diana Maria Sanchez Carlon, Silvia Romina Sanchez Carlon, and/or Fernando Torres Gonzalez. These last four Mexican individuals were designated in August 2015 and play significant roles in the management of assets belonging to the Los Cuinis DTO and/or Gonzalez Valencia.
Four of the companies designated today are agricultural companies located in the Guadalajara area: Agricola Boreal, Agricola Tavo, Desarrollo Agricola Organico, and Desarrollo Agricola Verde de Sayula.
Asesores Turisticos, a tourism company located in Mexico City, and Step Latinamedica, a biomedical technology consulting company located in Guadalajara, were also designated.
Status Administrativo is linked to Hotelito Desconocido and W&G Arquitectos, which were designated in 2015 for their ties to the Los Cuinis DTO. Status Administrativo was authorized to charge credit cards on behalf of, and shares an address with, Hotelito Desconocido, a boutique hotel located in Tomatlan, Jalisco. Status Adminstrativo also operates a parking lot at an address in Guadalajara that is shared by W&G Arquitectos. Hotelito Desconocido and W&G Arquitectos were linked to the Los Cuinis DTO in part by their owner and manager Wendy Dalaithy Amaral Arevalo, who was previously designated and is the sister-in-law of Abigael Gonzalez Valencia. Mexican authorities seized Hotelito Desconocido on the same day that it was designated in August 2015.
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.
The Treasury Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division worked closely to execute today’s action.
Since June 2000, more than 1,800 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 announcement, click here.
- To see the identifying information relating to today’s announcements, click here.
- For a complete listing of designations pursuant to the Kingpin Act, click here.