- The US Treasury Department has sanctioned ten individuals linked to the Sinaloa drug cartel and the Clan del Golfo in Colombia for their involvement in drug trafficking.
- This move freezes their assets in the United States and prohibits US citizens from dealing with their assets.
- The sanctions also include others involved in security, fentanyl trafficking to the US and money laundering on behalf of the cartel.
The US Treasury has announced sanctions against nine affiliates of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, as well as the current leader of Colombia’s powerful Clan del Golfo crime syndicate.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control named all 10 for their roles in drug trafficking, meaning any of their assets in the United States will be frozen and U.S. citizens are generally barred from dealing in any of their assets.
The nine affiliates of the Sinaloa cartel follow a US indictment unsealed in April that targeted a branch of the Sinaloa cartel run by the sons of former leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. Mexico extradited one of those sons, Ovidio Guzmán López, earlier this month to the United States. The sons were identified as leading producers and traffickers of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl.
“Today’s actions strengthen the entire United States government’s approach to saving lives by disrupting illicit drug supply chains,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement.
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Monday’s sanctions include several other people named in that indictment, including people who helped secure, actually transport the fentanyl into the U.S. and launder drug profits back to the cartel in Mexico.
The sanctions against Colombian Jobanis de Jesus Avila Villadiego coincide with the United States-Colombia Anti-Drug Task Force meeting in Bogota. Avila, better known as “Chiquito Malo”, took over Clan del Golfo in 2022 after it was announced that the group’s previous leader would be extradited to the US, Avila launched an attack targeting Colombian security forces in retaliation.
Avila is facing charges in the Southern District of Florida for trafficking cocaine, and in the Eastern District of New York for engaging in an ongoing criminal enterprise.