WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday named five people linked to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel and its leader, Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno.
Angello de Jesus Solis Aviles, Mario Parra Sanchez, Manuel Arturo Valdez Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Villegas Loera, and Vanessa Valenzuela Valenzuela were targeted for their official roles in the operation of seven gas stations owned or controlled by Esparragoza Moreno, the Treasury Department said in a release.
The gas stations, all of which allegedly changed names in an attempt to evade sanctions, were also designated by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, officials said.
The department listed those gas stations as Combuservicios Los Tres Rios, S.A. de C.V., previously Estaciones de Servicios Canarias, S.A. de C.V.; Gasolinera El Crucero Las Torres, S.A. de C.V., previously Servicios Chulavista, S.A. de C.V.; Gasolinera La Canada, S.A. de C.V., previously Gasodiesel y Servicios Ancona, S.A. de C.V.; Gasolineras La Villa, S.A. de C.V., previously Gasolinera y Servicios Villabonita, S.A. de C.V.; Gasolinera Multilomas, S.A. de C.V., previously Buenos Aires Servicios, S.A. de C.V.; Gasolinera Recursos Hidraulicos, S.A. de C.V., previously Gasolinera Alamos Country, S.A. de C.V.,; and Servicios y Gasolineras Barrancos, S.A. de C.V., previously Petrobarrancos, S.A. de C.V.
"We will continue to target companies and individuals that support the networks of Esparragoza Moreno, his criminal associate Rafael Caro Quintero, and other leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel. We will take the necessary action to protect the U.S. financial system from their illicit proceeds and we will ensure that their attempts to evade sanctions will not succeed," said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin.
U.S. officials say Esparragoza Moreno has been active in drug trafficking since the late 1970s