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US Treasury Sanctions Two Businesses Affiliated with Mexican Drug Lord

The U.S. Treasury blacklisted two entities linked to Sinaloa Cartel leader Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, also known as “El Azul.” Beginning Oct. 10, conducting financial or commercial transactions with the Mexican companies is illegal.

According to the Treasury, Esparragoza Moreno was indicted on drug trafficking charges in 2003. He’s been involved in drug trafficking since the 1970s, and is wanted in both the U.S. and Mexico, which are offering up to $5 million and 30 million pesos respectively for information leading to Esparragoza Moreno’s arrest.

One of the two entities sanctioned is Socialika Rentas y Catering, S.A. de C.V, an event planning company in Cancun that is owned and operated by Esparragoza Moreno’s daughter, who has been associated with her father’s cartel work. The other entity, Urbanizadora Nueva Italia, S.A. de C.V., is a real estate company in Guadalajara owned by another drug trafficking associate of Esparragoza Moreno. Nine other businesses and 10 people were linked to the drug kingpin and sanctioned in June.

“Today’s action serves as a reminder to Esparragoza Moreno that he and his organization remain in our sights,” said Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) director Adam J. Szubin. “Any company or individual that continues to act on behalf of or support this network could become the target of sanctions.”