The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury has announced on Tuesday the imposition of sanctions on Joaquín Guzmán López, son of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán Loera and fourth member of the little boys, as well as three members of the Sinaloa Cartel and two entities based in Mexico. Those sanctioned are part of a Sinaloa cartel network supervised by the Chapitos and responsible for a significant part of the illicit trafficking of fentanyl and other deadly drugs into the United States, according to the Treasury.
“Today’s action continues to disrupt key nodes in the global illicit fentanyl enterprise, including producers, suppliers and shippers,” said Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson. “Treasury, in close coordination with the Government of Mexico and US law enforcement, will continue to leverage our authorities to isolate and disrupt the operations of Los Chapitos and the Sinaloa cartel at every juncture,” he added.
The other three Chapitos were already sanctioned. The US authorities are now sanctioning Joaquín Guzmán López because they consider him implicated in the management of the super laboratories and in the trafficking of illicit drugs to the United States. He was first indicted on federal drug trafficking charges in 2018 by the Department of Justice’s Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS).
The other three people now sanctioned are Raymundo Pérez Uribe, for directing a network of suppliers used by the Sinaloa cartel to obtain chemical precursors for the manufacture of illicit drugs; Saúl Páez López, implicated in coordinating shipments of illegal drugs for his first cousins, Ovidio and Joaquín Guzmán López, and Mario Esteban Ogazón Sedano, who buys illegal chemical precursors and manages illegal drug laboratories on behalf of the Sinaloa cartel, always according to the US authorities.
In addition, the Treasury has sanctioned Sumilab, a chemical and laboratory equipment company based in Culiacán (Sinaloa), for its participation in the supply and shipment of chemical precursors to members and associates of the Sinaloa Cartel, and to Urbanization, Real Estate and Construcción de Obras, a Sinaloa-based real estate company owned by Mario Esteban Ogazón Sedano.
Founded in the 1980s, the Sinaloa cartel initially operated as an alliance of Mexico’s most powerful drug traffickers. In the early 2000s, Ismael the may Zambada Garcia and Joaquin El Chapo Guzmán Loera consolidated their power, leading the Sinaloa cartel to become one of the largest and best-known drug trafficking organizations in Mexico. The Sinaloa cartel controls drug trafficking activity in key regions of Mexico, especially along the Pacific coast. Through these strategic points, he introduces quantities of illicit drugs into the United States, such as fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine in large quantities, the Treasury says.
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Following El Chapo’s arrest, extradition and subsequent conviction in a US federal court, four of his sons have collectively sought to continue their father’s drug-trafficking legacy and leadership role in the Sinaloa cartel. Commonly known as Los Chapitos or Los Menores, brothers Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar and Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, along with their half-brothers Ovidio Guzmán López and Joaquín Guzmán López, led a powerful faction of the Sinaloa cartel.
The four members of Los Chapitos are charged with federal drug trafficking offenses in one or more jurisdictions in the United States. While Ovidio Guzmán López was captured in Mexico in January of this year, Joaquín Guzmán López and the Guzmán Salazar brothers are still at large. The US State Department is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Joaquín Guzmán López and Ovidio Guzmán López, and up to $10 million for Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar and Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar. .
As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of designated persons and entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of United States persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. The regulations generally prohibit all transactions by US persons or within the United States involving property or interests in property of designated or blocked persons. The action has been closely coordinated with the Mexican government, including its Financial Intelligence Unit, according to the Treasury.