On October 19, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated 3 individuals and 4 entities associated with the Valenzuela Drug Trafficking Organization (“Valenzuela DTO”) pursuant to Executive Order 14059, for engaging in activities or transactions that materially contribute to the international proliferation of illicit drugs or their means of production. OFAC reports that Valenzuela DTO was originally established as transportation cell associated with the Sinoloa Cartel that, in recent years, was run by siblings Jorge Alberto, Wuendi Yuridia, and Juan Francisco Valenzuela Valenzuela. According to OFAC, Jorge Alberto and Wuendi Yuridia were arrested by US authorities in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Juan Francisco, the last remaining sibling involved in Valenzuela DTO’s operations in Mexico, is among the new OFAC designees. While all of the newly designated individuals were indicted in 2021 on federal drug trafficking charges in the Southern District of California, they remain fugitives of the law.
As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of today’s designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons unless authorized by OFAC. US persons may also face civil or criminal penalties for violating EO 14059.