Another ‘blow’ to ‘Los Chapitos’: US sanctions 9 members for fentanyl trafficking

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11 days after the extradition of Ovidio Guzmán, the US dealt another hard blow to ‘Los Chapitos’.

This Tuesday, September 26, the United States government sanctioned nine members of the criminal group ‘Los Chapitos’, belonging to the Sinaloa Cartel.

This was reported by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury through a statement, in which they indicated that sanctioned drug traffickers are responsible for trafficking fentanyl to the United States.

“The Sinaloa Cartel is one of the most harmful transnational criminal organizations in the world,” OFAC stated in the document, in which they also highlighted the collaboration of the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of the Government of Mexico.

In April 2023, a US district court indicted seven of the nine people – in three separate indictments – on a variety of charges including fentanyl trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering.

Likewise, the US State Department published rewards for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of:

Jorge Humberto Figueroa Benitez

Leobardo García Corrales

Martin Garcia Corrales

Liborio Núñez Aguirre

Samuel Leon Alvarado

Carlos Mario Limón Vázquez

Mario Alberto Jimenez Castro

According to United States authorities, Jorge Humberto Figueroa Benítez is a leader of the ‘Los Chapitos’ security apparatus, which supervises personal security operations for certain members of the Sinaloa Cartel and coordinates illicit drug manufacturing and trafficking activities, fentanyl specifically, he commands a violent group of hitmen for the Chapitos.

Brothers Leobardo García Corrales and Martín García Corrales are large-scale methamphetamine and fentanyl manufacturers in Sinaloa. Additionally, they negotiate the sale of illicit fentanyl in the United States and operate fentanyl laboratories in Oaxaca. They use profits from fentanyl sales to buy automatic rifles, grenades and other weapons. Both are known associates of Joaquín Archivaldo “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada García, leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Liborio Núñez Aguirre, Samuel León Alvarado, and Carlos Mario Limón Vázquez are fentanyl traffickers for the Sinaloa Cartel responsible for the movement of large quantities of illicit fentanyl into the United States. All three are associates of ‘Los Chapitos’ and operate an extensive network of Sinaloa Cartel fentanyl laboratories that synthesize chemical precursors into illicit fentanyl for distribution in the United States.

Mario Alberto Jiménez Castro (Jiménez Castro) reports directly to a ‘Los Chapitos’ deputy and operates a money laundering organization that uses virtual currency and wire transfers, among other methods, to transfer profits from illicit sales of fentanyl in the United States to the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico. Jiménez Castro has ordered US-based couriers to collect cash in the United States and deposit it in various virtual currency wallets for direct payment to ‘Los Chapitos’ and for reinvestment in fentanyl production.

In addition to the seven people mentioned, OFAC sanctioned two associates of Jiménez Castro, Julio César Domínguez Hernández (Domínguez Hernández) and Jesús Miguel Vibanco García (Vibanco García).

Consequences of the sanctions against ‘Los Chapitos’

As a result of the sanctions announced today, all property and interests in property of designated persons that are located in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.

Additionally, any entity that is owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons is also blocked.

OFAC regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting through the United States) that involve any property or interest in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

Source: El Financiero