US Sanctions the Biggest Mexico Narco You've Never Heard Of

US sanctions 22 Mexican individuals, 43 entities tied to drug gang

The US Treasury Department announced on Wednesday that it has slapped sanctions on Mexican drug kingpin Raul Flores Hernandez and his network.

The Mexican Attorney General's Office also seized related assets, including the Grand Casino near Guadalajara.

The Department said Flores Hernandez has operated independently since the 1980s but "maintains strategic alliances" with other Mexican drug cartel leaders, including the Sinaloa group.

The sanctions would freeze any assets that a blacklisted person or entity holds under U.S. jurisdiction and ban any USA individuals or companies from making business deals with them.

Mexican singer Julio Cesar Alvarez is also on the list.

They added that "both men have longstanding relationships with Flores Hernandez, and have acted as front persons for him and his drug trafficking organisation and held assets on their behalf". The trafficking organization was originally headed by a Raul Flores Hernandez, and this is the culmination of a multi-year investigation into the organization.

Federal drug trafficking indictments against Flores Hernandez were returned in March in Washington and the southern district of California.

Márquez, 38, has represented Mexico in four World Cups and has won more than 150 worldwide caps. 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. At Barcelona, where he spent 10 years, he won the Spanish league four times and the Champions League twice, returning to Mexico in 2015 to rejoin his first club Atlas.

Marquez is hoping to play in his fifth World Cup for El Tri. After his long tenure in Spain, he arrived in the United States to play for the New York Red Bulls, where he stayed from 2010-12, scoring just a single goal in 44 matches.

Speaking at a news conference later Wednesday evening, Marquez said: "Today several news outlets reported that I am part of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Treasury Department for alleged ties to criminal organization".

The Treasury also cited a soccer academy and health and rehabilitation clinics owned by Marquez as having ties to the drug-trafficking organization.

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