May 13, 2021

OFAC targets Mexican drug cartel with Kingpin designations

On May 12, 2021, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Jesus Gonzalez Penuelas and the Gonzalez Penuelas Drug Trafficking Organization (Gonzalez Penuelas DTO), for smuggling various drugs from Mexico into the US, including heroin and fentanyl.  OFAC also designated six of Gonzalez Penuelas’s associates and one entity for their links to Gonzalez Penuelas DTO, and all of the designations were made pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (the Kingpin Act).  

The timing of the designations was part of a coordinated effort between OFAC, the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Homeland Security and others, to coincide with the DEA’s launch of Operation Money Sweep, a program aimed at disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations by targeting their money laundering activities.

As a result of these designations, all property and property interests belonging to the sanctioned persons and entities that are under US jurisdiction are blocked, and all transactions with US persons are generally prohibited.

Department of Treasury Press Release