U.S. targets more associates of Mexican drug boss Guzman

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 25, 2012 11:04 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday targeted the assets of Victor Manuel Felix Felix and four other business associates of fugitive drug lord Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and Mexico's most-wanted man.

The action freezes any assets they have under U.S. jurisdiction and bans U.S. firms from doing business with them.

Felix Felix is the head of a narcotics-distribution and money-laundering organization based in Guadalajara and Mexico City, the department said.

He is also the father-in-law of Guzman's son, Jesus Alfredo Guzman, who along with Guzman's wife was designated by the Treasury Department in June under the U.S. "Kingpin" Act.

Guzman, also known as El Chapo, escaped from a maximum-security prison in a laundry cart in 2001 and has eluded government efforts to recapture him.

"By exposing additional family members and other affiliates of the Sinaloa Cartel, this action builds on the Treasury Department's consistent efforts to disrupt Chapo Guzman's drug- trafficking activities," Adam Szubin, director of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control, said in a statement.

The Treasury Department said Jorge Guillermo Gonzalez Cardenas, Oscar Dominguez Villa Diaz, Rigoberto Dias Paniagua and Gabriela Vazquez Villavicencio were also designated for their work in the Sinaloa Cartel and their support for Guzman.

(Reporting By Doug Palmer; editing by Philip Barbara)