June 26, 2024

U.S. designates several leaders of the La Nueva Familia Michoacana drug cartel

On June 20, 2024, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen announced the designation of eight top leaders of the La Nueva Familia Michoacana drug cartel, one of the most powerful and violent cartels in Mexico.  The cartel is reportedly responsible for the trafficking of fentanyl and other illicit narcotics into the United States and the smuggling of migrants from Mexico into the United States.  The designations were imposed by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control pursuant to Executive Order 14059, for participation in activities that materially contribute to the international proliferation of illicit drugs or their means of production.  As a result of the designations, all property and interests in property of the designated persons within the United States or within the possession or control of a U.S. person are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving a designated person.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

Secretary Yellen also announced that the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) concurrently issued a Supplemental Fentanyl Advisory that builds upon the 2019 advisory addressing the illicit financial schemes used to traffic fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.  The new advisory provides U.S. financial institutions with red flags that will help them identify and report suspicious transactions that may be linked to Mexico-based transnational criminal organizations (“TCOs”).  The supplement is aimed at combatting the TCO financing of drug-related activities and transactions related to the procurement of fentanyl, precursor chemicals and equipment used to manufacture the drug, particularly from suppliers in the People’s Republic of China.

U.S. Department of Treasury Press Release | OFAC Chart – La Nueva Familia Michoacana designations | FinCEN Press Release | FinCEN Advisory