September 27, 2023

OFAC sanctions Sinaloa Cartel affiliates and the leader of a group that supplies the cartel with cocaine

On September 26, 2023, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated 10 individuals who are affiliates and fugitives that operate under the Los Chapitos faction of the Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel.  The Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for the trafficking of a significant portion of illicit fentanyl and other deadly drugs into the United States.  OFAC also sanctioned Jobanis de Jesus Avila Villadiego, a Colombian national who is the current leader of the Clan del Golfo, an organization that allegedly cultivates, produces and supplies cocaine to major drug trafficking groups, including the Sinaloa Cartel.  Avila Villadiego has also been indicted in two US federal courts.  In 2015, he was indicted in New York, along with others, for conspiring to traffic cocaine and conspiring to murder rival drug traffickers, and, in 2022, he was indicted in Florida for trafficking cocaine.

All of the designations were made pursuant to Executive Order 14059 for engaging in activities or transactions that contribute to the international proliferation of illicit drugs or their means of production.  As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of the 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.

Department of Treasury Press Release