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U.S. Treasury Dept. sanctions massive Mexican heroin trafficking organization

May 26, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
U.S. Treasury Dept. sanctions massive Mexican heroin trafficking organization

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The United States Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control OFAC have designated a transnational criminal group headed by Mexican national José Luis Ruelas Torres as the “Most Significant Drug Trafficking Organization” for its role in the trafficking of heroin and opiates under the so-called “Kingpin Act.”

In a statement, U.S.Treasury Department officials described the Mexico-based group known as the Ruelas Torres Drug Trafficking Organiztion, as an independent criminal enterprise responsible for distributing heroin and other opiates from Los Angeles, California to New York state.

“José Luis Ruelas Torres is the leader of the Los Ruelas Torres Cartel, an independent family organization dedicated to the production, distribution, and export of multiple kilograms of heroin and opiates to the United States,” officials said in the statement.

OFAC sanctioned the drug trafficking organization headed by José Ruelas Torres

The Treasury Department also noted that the Los Ruelas Torres Cartel is associated with one of Mexico’s most wanted drug traffickers Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, aka “Chapito Isidro,” who is identified as the leader of the Beltran Leyva Organization, which at one time, was a faction of the Sinaloa Federation Cartel.

Meza Flores was sanctioned by the OFAC in 2013.

Additionally, Treasaury officials also named ten other members of the criminal grouping based in the state of Sinaloa as the “Most Significant Narcotraffickers.”

The sanctions issued by the OFAC involves the freezing of all assets tied to the group including bank accounts under the jurisdiction of the United States.

Moreover, the Treasury Dept’s actions prohibit every American citizen or business entity by law from having any personal and commercial relationship with the criminal group and its members designated by the OFAC.

Beltran Leyva boss Fausto Isidro Meza Flores also known as “Chapito Isidro”

“The Treasury Department is sanctioning José Luis Ruelas Torres because his drug trafficking organization is a major contributor to the heroin-consuming epidemic that exists in our country,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The official said the designation of the Los Ruelas Torres Cartel will limit the group’s capacity to move heroin and opiates into the United States and its ability to launder illicit profits derived from the sale of narcotics.

“The Treasury Department and our allies in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Mexican government are committed to exposing, containing and dismantling these criminal networks,” Mnuchin said.

Organizational Structure

The Los Ruelas Torres Drug Trafficking Organization is led by the family’s patriarch José Luis Ruelas Torres and his immediate family members who, according to OFAC, are involved in the manufacturing, exporting, and distribution of heroin from the Mexican state of Sinaloa to the United States.

According to the US government, the group has a history that spans more than two decades in the narcotics trafficking business.

Furthermore, the U.S. government identified the group’s established distribution centers in cities nationwide such as: Phoenix, Arizona, Denver, Colorado, Salt Lake City, Utah, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, California, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Columbus, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan and New York City.

 Ruelas Torres Drug Trafficking Organization

The other 10 members designated as “Most Significant Drug traffickers” for their participation with the Torres Ruelas Drug Trafficking Organization are immediate family members including Joel Efrén Ruelas Avila, son of the leader of the group; along with José Luis Ruelas Avila, Leobardo Ruelas Avila, José Luis Ruelas Avila, José Luis Ruelas Avila and Leobardo Ruelas Avila.

The sanctions are in compliance with a 2015 federal indictment by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado charging Ruelas Torres and his son Joel Efren Ruelas Avila with running a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, narcotics trafficking, and money laundering offenses.

The indictment also charged other members of the organization including Toribio Alberto Lugo Leon, Jose Carlos Barraza Aceves Hector Librado Rivera Sandoval, with multiple narcotics trafficking offenses, and Maria de Jesus Espinoza Rodriguez with several counts related to the laundering of illegal drug proceeds.

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