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Ruelas Torres Cartel in U.S. blacklist

Authorities freeze assets; 11 accused of drug dealing and money laundering
Photo: File photo
29/05/2017
17:00
Víctor Sancho / Corresponsal
Washington
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The Department of the Treasury of the United States included 11 members and collaborators of the Ruelas Torres Cartel to its drug dealing and money laundering blacklist, freezing their assets in the U.S. and prohibiting any type of transactions.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the sanction through a statement, citing especially the leaders, José Luis Ruelas Torres and his son Joel Efrén Ruelas Ávila, as well as 9 key players of the organization dedicated to the distribution and production of opium and heroin.

“He and his drug trafficking organization are major contributors to our nation’s heroin epidemic,” said the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin.

According to American authorities, the Ruelas Torres traffic great quantities of heroin from Mexico to markets like Los Angeles and New York, and allegedly work with Fausto Isidro Chapito Meza Flores, head of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, which is also on the U.S. blacklist.

With the actions taken, they hope to difficult and obstruct their ability to move the benefits obtained from the drugs sold in American soil. To the American law, it is one of the most effective and efficient options to impact drug cartels, “disrupting and dismantling” their illicit business.

“The joint efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and OFAC represent a sustained initiative to combat foreign drug trafficking organizations or those acting on behalf of them, from doing business via the United States,” said Barbra Roach, a special agent of the DEA in Denver, Colorado. The Department of the Treasury thanked Mexican authorities' “close collaboration” in the fight against drug dealing.

6 of the Ruelas Torres have cases open in U.S. jurisdiction, accused of criminal association, heroin traffic, money laundering, and are law fugitives, probably being in the state of Sinaloa

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