Action Targets 22 Mexican Nationals and 43 Entities in Mexico, including Flores
Washington, D.C. – As a
result of several long-term DEA investigations, the U.S. Department of the
Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today identified Mexican
national Raul Flores Hernandez and the Flores Drug Trafficking Organization
(Flores DTO) as Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the
Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). In addition to
Flores and the Flores DTO, OFAC also designated 21 Mexican nationals and 42
entities in Mexico for providing support to the narcotics trafficking
activities of Raul Flores Hernandez and the Flores DTO and/or for being owned
or controlled by the Flores DTO, its members, and trusted associates.
This action marks the largest single Kingpin Act action against a Mexican drug
cartel network that OFAC has designated. As a result of today’s action,
all assets of the individuals and entities designated that are under U.S.
jurisdiction or are in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons
are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
Government of Mexico’s Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) seized
diverse assets today belonging to Raul Flores Hernandez and the Flores DTO,
including the Grand Casino in the Guadalajara area. This joint action is
the result of a multi-year OFAC investigation undertaken in coordination with
DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and
the Government of Mexico. This designation is part of a larger
collaborative effort with Mexican government agencies, including the PGR and
Mexico’s Finance Ministry’s Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera
(UIF), to use financial sanctions, among other tools, to disrupt Mexican
drug trafficking organizations.
he operates independently, Raul Flores Hernandez maintains strategic alliances
with the leadership of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel and the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva
Generación. His relationships with the leaders of these drug cartels have
allowed the Flores DTO to operate since the 1980s in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and
Mexico City, Mexico. In March 2017, federal drug trafficking indictments
were returned in the District of Columbia and the Southern District of
California against Flores Hernandez.
Flores DTO includes a significant number of Flores Hernandez’s family members
and trusted associates, upon whom he heavily relies to further his drug
trafficking and money laundering activities and to maintain assets on his
behalf. Family members of Flores Hernandez designated today include Maria
Icela Chavez Martinez, Felipe Flores Gomez, Kevin Sebastian Flores Chavez,
Sendy Flores Castro, Moises Flores Esparza, Saul Flores Tinajero, Oscar Armando
Jimenez Hernandez, and Irma Lizet Damian Ramirez. Associates of Flores
Hernandez designated today include Fernando Gustavo Alvarez Peralta, Diego
Ayala Romero, Linda Elizabeth Campos Tirado, Efrain and Omar Caro Urias, Hugo
Ivan and Victor Manuel Carranza Zepeda, Jose Antonio Cordero Cardenas, and
Mario Alberto Fernandez Santana. Several of these individuals own or
control a number of Mexican companies within the Flores DTO’s business network. Today’s
OFAC designations also include Mexican professional soccer player, Rafael
Marquez Alvarez (Rafa Marquez), and Mexican singer Julio Cesar Alvarez
Montelongo (Julion Alvarez). Both men have longstanding
relationships with Flores Hernandez, and have acted as front persons for him
and his DTO and held assets on their behalf. Also designated today are
Mauricio Heredia Horner and Marco Antonio Fregoso Gonzalez for acting for or on
behalf of Rafa Marquez.
42 entities designated today cross a wide range of industries and services in
Mexico, including sports and recreation, health and rehabilitation, restaurants
and bars, hospitality and tourism, gambling, and music production.
Several key designated entities include a Mexican soccer club, Club Deportivo
Morumbi, Asociacion Civil; the Grand Casino in Guadalajara, Jalisco; Camelias
Bar, S.A. de C.V. and Nocturnum Inc, S. de R.L. de C.V., which have run popular
bars and restaurants in Guadalajara; a sports rehabilitation center, Prosport
& Health Imagen, S.A. de C.V.; and a music production company, Noryban
Productions, S.A. de C.V. Most of the entities designated today are
registered in the Mexican state of Jalisco, although two are registered in the
state of Sinaloa. Several entities operate locations/branches in various
other states, including Michoacán and Coahuila.
Since June 2000, more than 2,000 individuals and
entities have been named pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in
international narcotics trafficking. Penalties for violations of the
Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,437,153 per violation to
more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers
may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million.
Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals
could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the
United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.