The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced yesterday the designation of Colombian national Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa (a.k.a. Elkin de Jesus Lopez Salazar) and more than 70 individuals and entities in Cifuentes Villa’s alleged drug trafficking and money laundering organization as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTK’s).
The action, taken pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these entities and individuals and freezes any assets the designated parties may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa, a native Colombian who also holds Mexican citizenship, allegedly leads a drug trafficking organization with operations in Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Panama and Spain that is closely allied with the Sinaloa Cartel headed by Mexican national Joaquin Guzman Loera (El Chapo). Guzman Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel were identified by the President as Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2001 and 2009, respectively. In November 2010, Cifuentes Villa and Guzman Loera were indicted on drug trafficking and money laundering charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Alfredo Alvarez Zepeda (a.k.a. Gabino Ontiveros Rios), an alleged drug trafficking liaison between the Cifuentes Villa organization and Guzman Loera, and alleged criminal associates who provide material support to Cifuentes Villa’s drug trafficking activities, Jaime Alberto Roll Cifuentes, Winston Nicholls Eastman, David Gomez Ortiz, and Shimon Yelinek were also designated.
Multiple family members of Cifuentes Villa were also designated for allegedly supporting his drug trafficking activities and/or for helping to manage his companies. Two of today’s designees, Dolly de Jesus Cifuentes Villa and Hildebrando Alexander Cifuentes Villa, are also charged with drug trafficking and money laundering in the Southern District of Florida in the same indictment as Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa and Guzman Loera.
To view the Treasury’s press release, please click here.
Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Litigation.
The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at one of the offices listed above.