Treasury battles another Mexican drug cartel

All assets contained in the United States will be blocked under 1999 legislation known as the “Kingpin Act,” within the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and also makes it illegal for anyone in the United States to engage or assist them with transactions.

OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin said the U.S. financial system is safer after the actions.

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“[The agency] will continue to target this organization as well as other Mexican drug trafficking operations that are threatening the United States,” he said in a written statement.

Meza Flores runs out of the dangerous Sinaloa, Mexico, and has been responsible for bringing “large quantities” of methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and cocaine to the United States, according to the OFAC statement on Thursday.

Fausto Isidro Meza Flores — also known as “Chapito Isidro” -– is the leader of the cartel, whose feud with a neighboring cartel has “quadrupled drug-war killings” and increased the number of kidnappings and arson over the last four years within Sinaloa. Also subject to the asset freeze are Flores’s wife, father mother, sister and uncles. 

The three companies are also in the Treasury’s crosshairs for cooperating with the cartel: a gas and service station called Auto Servicio Jatziry, a grain transportation company called Autotransportes Terrestres and a construction company called Constructora Jatziry De Guasave.

The Los Angeles Times, which has reported extensively on the drug war since 2008, counts the overall death toll at more than 50,000. OFAC has targeted roughly 1,200 individuals and businesses linked to 97 drug kingpins since 2000.