Three people and three businesses linked to a leader of the organized crime syndicate Sinaloa Cartel face Kingpin Act sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department.
The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control targeted Mexican attorney and notary public Jose Antonio Nunez Bedoya, who officials said helped create front companies in order to conceal and launder assets related to Zambada Garcia, members of Zambada Garcia's family and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Nunez Bedoya incorporated Estancia Infantil Nino Feliz and Establo Puerto Rico on behalf of Zambada Garcia and he notarized real estate purchases on behalf of Santa Monica Dairy, all of which were previously slapped with sanctions in May, 2007.
Nunez Bedoya notarized real estate purchases on behalf of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin Guzman Loera and his wife, Griselda Lopez Perez, who were placed under sanctions in September 2012.
"The Sinaloa Cartel cannot hide behind front companies like a water park or agricultural business," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. "We are working with OFAC to expose these traffickers' front companies for what they really are - not legitimate businesses, but illegal enterprises that fuel the drug trade, its violence and corruption."
The cash-intensive businesses sanctioned Tuesday were Parque Acuatico Los Cascabeles, a Sinaloa-based water park; Centro Comercial y Habitacional Lomas, a shopping mall in Culiacan; and Rancho Agricola Ganadero Los Mezquites, a cattle ranch in Sinaloa. Nunez Bedoya incorporated and notarized all three businesses on behalf of Zambada Garcia, OFAC officials said.
The Tresury Department also placed sanctions on Tomasa Garcia Rios and Monica Janeth Verdugo Garcia, wife and daughter of deceased narcotics trafficker Jose Lamberto Verdugo Calderon.
Verdugo Calderon was killed by the Mexican military in January 2009. He was widely identified by U.S. and Mexican authorities as a major financial operative and lieutenant for Zambada Garcia. Tomasa Garcia Rios and Monica Janeth Verdugo Garcia own Rancho Agricola Ganadero Los Mezquites and Parque Acuatico Los Cascabeles.
Tuesday's action generally prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these designees and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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