On August 9, 2017, in their joint effort to intensify the war on drugs, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) along with the Mexican and U.S. law enforcement agencies, declared Raul Flores Hernandez and the Flores drug trafficking organization (DTO) as “significant foreign narcotics traffickers” in accordance with the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Additionally, the OFAC also identified 21 Mexican nationals and 42 entities based in Mexico as those extending support to the cross-border drug trafficking activities of the widespread network of Hernandez and his associates. As a result of this record-breaking Kingpin Act action against the nefarious network of the Flores DTO, U.S. authorities will henceforth freeze the assets of all the individuals and entities that are within their jurisdictional limits. The Mexican government’s Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) will also reciprocate by confiscating the drug lord’s manifold assets in Mexico, which includes the Grand Casino in the Guadalajara area.
This action is the outcome of a multi-year collaborative venture between the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the American side, and Mexico’s Finance Ministry’s Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera (UIF) and the PGR on the Mexican side. Although Hernandez is an independent drug cartel, he has established strategic alliances with the heads of the deadly Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación and the Sinaloa Cartel. The Flores DTO comprises of a considerable number of the Kingpin’s close family members and confidants, who assist him in his money laundering and narcotic smuggling activities. Pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their involvement in international drug trafficking, U.S. authorities have identified more than 2,000 entities and individuals to date.
Drug cartels control several entry points dotting the border
The numerous points of entry (POEs) dotting the international border separating Mexico from the United States are known to be prized corridors to transport colossal quantities of marijuana, cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and synthetic drugs to the lucrative American markets, where they can be sold for a fortune.
Gangsters and criminal elements affiliated to different cartels control these passageways to not only ship their own consignments with ease, but also extract exorbitant charges from other traffickers who would want to use the corridors under their control for illegal activities. The local populace in these areas attributes the lack of traversable roads, the distressing absence of security personnel and the sheer neglect of the region by oversight agencies to the successful modus operandi of the DTOs operating in these areas.
Road to sobriety
Despite leaving no stone unturned in curbing the relentless surge in drug trafficking along the 2,000-mile long border with Mexico, the CBP authorities attribute this menacing spike to the ravenous appetite for mind-altering substances on the American side.
Nevertheless, Mexican cartels, who control several corridors along the international borders, take advantage of the compulsive drug-seeking behavior of American consumers to inundate U.S. territory with huge quantities of deadly narcotics. In the light of such widespread availability of drugs, it becomes paramount to spread awareness about the life-wrecking outcomes associated with the use of these.
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