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U.S. Dept. of Treasury sanctions wife of legendary ‘Cartel Godfather’ Caro Quintero

May 11, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
U.S. Dept. of Treasury sanctions wife of legendary ‘Cartel Godfather’ Caro Quintero

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The United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the sanctioning of Diana Espinoza Aguilar, wife of legendary narco godfather Rafael Caro Quintero as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act also referred to as the (Kingpin Act).

Officials with the OFAC along with DEA made the announcement during a press conference on Wednesday.

Federal authorities accuse Aguilar of overseeing the financial activities, which would include the laundering of illicit proceeds made from the trafficking of narcotics on behalf of her husband.

Quintero was one of the founding members of Guadalajara Cartel, who was allegedly responsible for the 1985 murder of DEA special agent Enrique ‘KiKi’ Camarena.

“Today’s designation demonstrates once again that the drug dealer and fugitive from the law, Caro Quintero, depends heavily on the support of his wife and other family members,” John E. Smith, acting director of OFAC said in a statement.

“DEA and Treasury will utilize every possible tool to dismantle violent criminal organizations such as that of Rafael Caro Quintero, who is responsible for the 1985 murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena,” said DEA Deputy Administrator Jack Riley during the announcement.

“Because of today’s actions by the Treasury, Diana Espinoza Aguilar has been exposed as a key enabler and facilitator for Caro-Quintero’s vicious global drug trafficking and money laundering network,” added Riley.

The designation of Espinoza Aguilar now enables the U.S. Treasury Department to freeze all assets, which includes bank accounts and real estate properties linked to Aguilar that falls under the jurisdiction of the United States.

Furthermore, the actions by the OFAC prohibits all U.S. based entities and citizens from conducting or engaging in any type of transactions with Espinoza Aguilar.

Authorities in the U.S. and Mexico had for years linked Espinoza-Aguilar to drug trafficking-related activities.

In 2008, Mexican police arrested her along with her former husband, a known Colombian drug trafficker, on charges of narcotics trafficking and money laundering.

A Mexican court sentenced Espinoza Aguilar to prison. While incarcerated at the Puente Grande detention facility in the Western state of Jalisco, she met Caro Quintero, who was serving his sentence at the time for his involvement in the Camarena Murder.

The DEA says Caro Quintero still maintained his relationships with major Mexican drug trafficking organizations while he was in prison and used a network of family members along with front persons to invest his illicit fortune into legitimate businesses and real estate projects in Guadalajara.

Federal officials said some of Caro Quintero’s assets he obtained through the sale of drug proceeds are registered under his wife’s name.

A Mexican judge controversially granted Quintero’s release from jail with 12 years remaining on his sentence on August 9, 2013, a move which strained relations between the U.S. and Mexican governments.

Since his release federal officials allege he has continued to engage in illegal drug trafficking activities.

U.S. prosecutors indicted the narco boss in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on criminal charges related to Camarena’s kidnapping and murder as well as drug trafficking-related offenses.

The DEA is seeking his capture and extradition to face the charges listed in the indictment and is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Since June 2000, over than 1,900 entities and individuals have been named under the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties including fines up to $5 million and up to 30 years in prison.

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