U.S. Sanctions Mexican Drug Cartel CJNG for Firearms, Fuel Trafficking
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has sanctioned members of the Mexican drug trafficking organization, Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG), for their alleged involvement in various criminal activities including trafficking high-caliber firearms and stolen fuel from the United States to Mexico.
The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified two senior members of the CJNG, Alonso Guerrero Covarrubias (also known as "El Ocho") and Javier Guerrero Covarrubias, as being responsible for trafficking weapons from the U.S. into Mexico, fuel theft, and drug trafficking.
In addition, OFAC sanctioned Obed Christian Sepulveda Portillo and a Mexican currency exchange agency for allegedly laundering illicit narcotics proceeds and providing support to the criminal organization.
Further investigations have uncovered the alleged involvement of Mary Cruz Rodriguez Aguirre with the CJNG based in Jalisco, Mexico. Rodriguez Aguirre has been sanctioned for providing or attempting to provide financial, material, or technological support for the criminal organization.
According to the Treasury, Rodriguez Aguirre used her currency exchange agency "Nacer Agencia Panamericana de Divisas y Centro Cambiario, S.A. de C.V." as a network of US-based businesses to move illicit narcotics proceeds from the United States to Mexico.
From 2020 to 2022, Rodriguez Aguirre allegedly facilitated the collection and laundering of more than US$6 million.
Regional commander Audias Flores Silva, who allegedly worked closely with Rodriguez Aguirre as his "broker", was previously identified by OFAC as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker, and the U.S. Department of State has offered a reward of up to US$5 million for information leading to his arrest.
Investigators say the CJNG is responsible for a significant proportion of fentanyl and other deadly drugs trafficked into the United States.