OFAC Mexican Fentanyl Drug Cartel

On Jun. 20, OFAC, US Treasury issued counter narcotics designations.

  • OFAC sanctioned top leaders of Mexico’s La Nueva Familia Michoacana Drug Cartel.
  • Designated eight Mexico-based leaders of cartel, which also engages other illicit activity, including migrant smuggling, and is one of the most violent cartels in Mexico.
  • Concurrent with FinCEN's advisory on fentanyl supply chain trends, see #216506.
  • Also concurrent with US Treasury Yellen remarks on actions to combat the opioid crisis.
  • On same day, DoJ reported indictment of Mexican drug cartel leaders, see #216750.
  • La Nueva Familia Michoacana
  • Historically, La Nueva Familia Michoacana (LNFM) trafficked mostly methamphetamine.
  • However, in recent years, it has expanded into fentanyl trafficking, procuring necessary precursor chemicals, critical pill press machines, producing fentanyl in throughout MEX
  • Including in Mexico City, Pineda, Santa Teresa, Ciudad Altamirano, Tejupilco, others.
  • LNFM sends fentanyl and other drugs to the United States through Nuevo Laredo and Tamaulipas/Reynosa across the southern Texas border via buses, among other modes.
  • Once in US, drugs are sent to cities across US, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Tulsa, Chicago
  • LNFM also is also involved in human smuggling, forcing individuals to enter the United States illegally with drugs for the purpose of selling narcotics in the United States.
  • If the individuals do not comply, they are told they and their families will be killed.
  • Designated Cartel Leaders
  • Rodolfo Maldonado Bustos is a powerful and trusted member of the LNFM cartel.
  • He is next-in-line to Johnny Hurtado Olascoaga and Jose Alfredo Hurtado Olascoaga.
  • The two co-leaders of LNFM, both of whom OFAC designated in November of 2022.
  • Maldonado Bustos controls the drug routes that pass from Ciudad Altamirano, Guerrero, Mexico to the Zihuatanejo-Lazaro Cardenas, Guerrero, Mexico area.
  • In 2017, GA federal grand jury indicted Maldonado Bustos on heroin conspiracy counts.
  • Josue Ramirez Carrerais a financial leader and third-in-line in the leadership.
  • Ramirez Carrera is in control of laundering money through used clothing business.
  • He is also involved in arms trafficking where he directs people along the Rio Grande Valley to conceal weapons within packs of used clothing destined for Mexico City.
  • Josue Lopez Hernandez is a key lieutenant with regional connections with other cartels.
  • David Duran Alvarez is a key lieutenant and is known to send drugs to Houston, Texas.
  • Uriel Tabares Martinez is a sicario, or assassin, that works directly for the Olascoagas.
  • He is known as El Medico for the violent and surgical manner he tortures and murders.
  • Kevin Arzate Gomez is a key lieutenant and has associates along Mexico/US border.
  • Arzate Gomez negotiates on behalf of the cartel to have drugs enter the US.
  • In addition, he assists in getting the money from those drugs sales back to Mexico.
  • Euclides Camacho Goicochea works with Maldonado Bustos and Tabares Martinez.
  • Camacho Goicochea indicted in 2017 by federal grand jury in GA, including laundering.
  • Lucio Ochoa Lagunes is key lieutenant and works directly for Jose Hurtado Olascoaga.
  • US Treasury Yellen Remarks
  • Secretary Janet Yellen gave remarks at DEA press conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Addressed today's sanctions action against cartel, and FinCEN advisory re fentanyl.
  • Yellen stated that the targeted cartel leaders have carried out heinous acts, from controlling drug routes, to arms trafficking, to money laundering, to murder.
  • Two of the cartel leaders designated have been indicted by courts here in Georgia.
  • They were indicted on charges including heroin conspiracy and money laundering.
  • Sanctions will cut off them off from their ill-gotten money and make it harder for them.
  • Jun. 25, 2024 OFAC Federal Register
  • On Jun. 25, 2024, OFAC published notice of designations in the federal register.

Regulators OFAC; US Treasury
Entity Types B/D; Bank; BS; Corp; IA; Ins; Inv Co; MSB
Reference OFAC: 89 FR 53180, 6/25/2024; PR, List, 6/20/2024; US Treasury: PR, 6/20/2024;
Functions AML; Anti-Bribery; Compliance; Financial; Legal; Operations; Reporting; Sanctions
Countries Mexico; United States of America; Cross-Border
Category AML FIU; Central Government
Products Banking; Deposits; Fund Mgt; Insurance; Loan; Securities
Regions Am
Rule Type Final
Rule Date 6/20/2024
Effective Date 6/20/2024
Rule Id 216511
Linked to Rule :216506
Reg. Last Update 6/25/2024
Report Section AML & Enforcement

Last substantive update on 06/27/2024