WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. government imposed sanctions Wednesday on people and businesses that allegedly front for Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero.
The action means that U.S. residents will be barred from doing business with the 15 individuals and 18 entities named by the U.S. Treasury Department, officials said. Any assets they have in the United States will be frozen.
"Rafael Caro Quintero has used a network of family members and front persons to invest his fortune into ostensibly legitimate companies and real estate projects in the city of Guadalajara," said Adam Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. "With the assistance of the Government of Mexico, OFAC continues to target drug traffickers, the laundering of their ill-gotten gains, and those who assist them in their illicit activities."
The sanctions are authorized by the Kingpin Act. Caro Quintero, one of the founders of the Guadalajara Cartel, is serving a 40-year prison sentence in Mexico for the 1985 killing of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique Camarena and for drug trafficking.
Caro Quintero has also been charged in federal court in California with crimes connected to the Camarena killing.
The individuals named by the Treasury Department include Caro Quintero's wife, children and daughter-in-law, his former personal secretary and members of the Sanchez Garza family, a clan in Guadalajara that allegedly helped him with money laundering. The sanctions also affect a network of Guadalajara companies owned by the two families with businesses ranging from gas stations to a resort spa.