U.S. tags Guatemalan as a drug trafficker

April 13, 2012

The Washington Times on April 12, 2012 released the following:

“By Jerry Seper

Guatemalan national Horst Walter Overdick Mejia, described by U.S. law enforcement authorities as a “critical link” in the drug trade between Colombian producers and the violent Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas, has been named by the State Department as a “specially designated narcotics trafficker.”

The designation, under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, prohibits U.S. persons and corporations from conducting financial or commercial transactions with this person and freezes any assets he may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment naming Overdick Mejia on charges of narcotics trafficking and firearms violations. He was arrested April 3 in Guatemala and accused of being the head of a major drug trafficking and money laundering organization based in Guatemala.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials described Overdick Mejia as a veteran spice buyer who used his local contacts and his legitimate business acumen to smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine to Mexico and on into the United States.

Many authorities blame Overdick Mejia for bringing Los Zetas into Guatemala in 2008 to eliminate a competing trafficker and later becoming their most important ally in Guatemala. He also laundered millions of U.S. dollars in narcotics proceeds generated by both his own organization as well as Los Zetas, the authorities said.

“These are necessary tools we use to ensure that we put dangerous drug trafficking organizations out of business and ensure they cannot exploit the U.S. financial system,” said John Arvanitis, DEA chief of financial operations. “Overdick Mejia was a vital link between Colombian drug producers and Mexican cartels such as Los Zetas.

“This case is yet another example of the united front that law enforcement and regulators must utilize to ensure that organizations such as this one are put out of business forever,” he said.

Adam J. Szubin, Treasury’s director of the office of foreign assets control (OFAC), said Overdick Mejia’s drug trafficking activities and close ties to the Los Zetas “makes him a dangerous and critical figure in the Central American narcotics trade.

“By designating Overdick Mejia, OFAC is demonstrating its support for the Guatemalan government in its struggle against the threats and violence posed by these international drug gangs,” he said.

DEA and OFAC coordinated the Overdick Mejia designation action with federal prosecutors in New York. The action was part of ongoing efforts involving the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations worldwide. The Treasury Department has designated more than 1,000 persons and entities under the Kingpin Act since June 2000.

Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from fines of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Others face up to 10 years in prison and fines.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

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OFAC SDN Removal Attorneys

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Sanctions Alleged Guatemalan Drug Trafficker with Zetas Ties

April 11, 2012

Fox News Latino on April 10, 2012 released the following:

“Treasury Dept. Sanctions Guatemalan Drug Trafficker with Zetas Ties

By Andrew O’Reilly

A Guatemalan man with suspected ties to Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel has been designated by the Treasury Department as a narcotics trafficker, the agency announced Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Horst Walter Overdick Mejia, allegedly a critical link between Colombian drug producers and the Los Zetas cartel, as a major drug trafficking target and, under the Kingpin Act, is now prohibited with doing any business with U.S. citizens.

The act also freezes any assets Overdick Mejia may have in the United States.

“Overdick Mejia’s drug trafficking activities and close ties to the Los Zetas makes him a dangerous and critical figure in the Central American narcotics trade,” OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin, said in a press release. “By designating Overdick Mejia, OFAC is demonstrating its support for the Guatemalan government in its struggle against the threats and violence posed by these international drug gangs.”

Early last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment for Overdick Mejia’s drug trafficking and firearms activities, with Guatemalan authorities arresting him on April 3.

Believed to run a major drug trafficking and money laundering organization in Guatemala, Overdick Mejia is suspected to have used his experience as a spice buyer, his local contacts and his business insight to smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine into Mexico and the United States.

“Overdick Mejia was a vital link between Colombian drug producers and Mexican cartels such as Los Zetas. This case is yet another example of the united front that law enforcement and regulators must utilize to ensure that organizations such as this one are put out of business forever,” said DEA Chief of Financial Operations John Arvanitis in a press release.

Overdick Mejia is believed to have brought the Zetas to Guatemala in 2008 to eliminate a rival trafficker and is now suspected to be the Mexican cartel’s most important ally in the Central American nation.

Guatemala has become a hotbed for drug-related violence as authorities in Mexico crackdown on the cartels operating in the country. The Zetas have been described by the DEA as perhaps “the most technologically advanced, sophisticated and violent of these paramilitary enforcement groups.”

“It might not be an exaggeration to say the Zetas are among the most vicious drug cartel to ever emerge. Not only have they been able to establish drug-trafficking routes through Guatemala and Nicaragua into Mexico,” The security website InSightCrime.org wrote. “But recent reports indicate that they may have co-opted a cocaine trafficking route via Venezuela-West Africa into Europe, representing yet another lucrative market for the organization.”

The Associated Press also reported last week that the Zetas had made an alliance in Guatemala with the Mara Salvatrucha gang. More commonly known as MS-13, Mara Salvatrucha was originally founded in the 1990s by gang members in southern California and quickly spread throughout Central America when the members were deported.

According to the news service, secret jailhouse recording and a turncoat kidnapper have described a pact between leaders of the Maras and the Zetas.

Eduardo Velasco, head of a Guatemala’s Interior Ministry task force on organized crime, told the AP that local authorities believed the Maras’ training by the Zetas has led to an increase brutality, planning, organization and firepower of Maras’ operations in the country.

“As a result of this union with the Zetas, the Mara Salvatrucha have more ability to organize, strategize and maneuver,” Velasco said. “The Mara Salvatrucha want to build up their inventory of long-range weapons, grenades and drugs for their own use and for sale … they know the economic benefit is great for them and that the Zetas, as an outside group, need the Maras’ network in order to grow inside Guatemala.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN Removal Attorneys

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficking Kingpin [SDNTK] Entries Added to OFAC’s SDN List on April 10, 2012

April 10, 2012
OFAC SDN - SDNTK Horst Walter Overdick Mejia

Today, OFAC has added [SDNTK] Entries to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List):

The following [SDNTK] entries have been added to OFAC’s SDN list:

OVERDICK MEJIA, Horst Walter (a.k.a. OVERDICK MEJIA, Walther; a.k.a. “TIGRE”), KM 208, Ruta Hacia, Coban, Guatemala; DOB 31 Jul 1967; alt. DOB 31 Jul 1968; citizen Guatemala; nationality Guatemala; Identification Number 0-16 Reg 53089 (Guatemala); alt. Identification Number 0-16 89159 (Guatemala); NIT # 702787-7 (individual) [SDNTK]

OVERDICK MEJIA, Walther (a.k.a. OVERDICK MEJIA, Horst Walter; a.k.a. “TIGRE”), KM 208, Ruta Hacia, Coban, Guatemala; DOB 31 Jul 1967; alt. DOB 31 Jul 1968; citizen Guatemala; nationality Guatemala; Identification Number 0-16 Reg 53089 (Guatemala); alt. Identification Number 0-16 89159 (Guatemala); NIT # 702787-7 (individual) [SDNTK]

TIGRE (a.k.a. OVERDICK MEJIA, Horst Walter; a.k.a. OVERDICK MEJIA, Walther), KM 208, Ruta Hacia, Coban, Guatemala; DOB 31 Jul 1967; alt. DOB 31 Jul 1968; citizen Guatemala; nationality Guatemala; Identification Number 0-16 Reg 53089 (Guatemala); alt. Identification Number 0-16 89159 (Guatemala); NIT # 702787-7 (individual) [SDNTK]

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Treasury Targets Top Guatemalan Drug Trafficker tied to Los Zetas

4/10/2012

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of Guatemalan national Horst Walter Overdick Mejia, a critical link in the drug trade between Colombian producers and the violent Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas, as a specially designated narcotics trafficker. Today’s action, taken pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with this individual and freezes any assets the designee may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment of Overdick Mejia for his narcotics trafficking and related firearms activities. On April 3, Guatemalan authorities arrested Overdick Mejia, the head of a major drug trafficking and money laundering organization based in Guatemala. A veteran spice buyer, he used his local contacts and his business acumen to smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine to Mexico and on into the United States. It is widely believed that Overdick Mejia is responsible for bringing Los Zetas into Guatemala in 2008 in order to eliminate a competing trafficker and who later became their most important ally in Guatemala. He also laundered millions of U.S. dollars in narcotics proceeds generated by both his own organization as well as Los Zetas.

“Overdick Mejia’s drug trafficking activities and close ties to the Los Zetas makes him a dangerous and critical figure in the Central American narcotics trade,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “By designating Overdick Mejia, OFAC is demonstrating its support for the Guatemalan government in its struggle against the threats and violence posed by these international drug gangs.”

OFAC coordinated this designation action with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Today’s action is part of ongoing efforts pursuant to the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations worldwide. The Treasury Department has designated more than 1,000 individuals and entities pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000.

“These are necessary tools we use to ensure that we put dangerous drug trafficking organizations out of business and ensure they cannot exploit the U.S. financial system,” said DEA Chief of Financial Operations John Arvanitis. “Overdick Mejia was a vital link between Colombian drug producers and Mexican cartels such as Los Zetas. This case is yet another example of the united front that law enforcement and regulators must utilize to ensure that organizations such as this one are put out of business forever.”

Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.

Click here for the chart of the Mejia network.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN Removal Attorneys

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.