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Treasury designates Mexican drug kingpins

  |   Oct. 27, 2011 at 4:33 PM
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department Thursday designated a Sinaloa Cartel lieutenant, his two brothers and two companies in Mexico under the Drug Kingpin Act.

"Today's action aims to disrupt the ability of Martin Avendano Ojeda's drug distribution network and its money-laundering businesses to generate funds for the Sinaloa Cartel," Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Adam Szubin said in a statement. "These actions build on Treasury's ongoing efforts to identify and disrupt the financial pathways exploited by the Sinaloa Cartel, Ismael Zambada Garcia, and his lieutenants."

Ojeda "controls a money-laundering and narcotics distribution network based in Culiacan, Mexico, that is supplied by Sinaloa Cartel leader Ismael Zambada Garcia and facilitates the importation of narcotics from Mexico into the U.S. with the assistance of his brothers, Hector Manuel and Sergio Avendano Ojeda, who are also designated today," the department said in a statement.

Garcia and the Sinaloa Cartel were identified by President Obama as "significant foreign narcotics traffickers" under the Kingpin Act in 2002 and 2009, respectively.

The Treasury Department also designated Autos Mini, a car dealership in Ensenada, Baja California, owned by Ojeda, and Autodromo Culiacan, a race track in Culiacan, Sinaloa, owned by Ojeda and his brother Hector Manuel Avendano Ojeda.

U.S. persons are "prohibited from engaging in transactions with the designees," whose assets under U.S. jurisdiction have been frozen, the release said.

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