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Treasury Designates Corporate Network Tied to the Amezcua Contreras Organization

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Washington, D.C.– The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today named 10 individuals and six companies tied to the Amezcua Contreras Organization, a major Mexican drug trafficking organization, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs).  The designees, all based in Mexico, are now subject to economic sanctions pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).

We are further sanctioning the Amezcua Contreras Organization today to degrade and dismantle its network of associates and companies producing methamphetamines for distribution in the United States and elsewhere.   We applaud the Mexican authorities' recent seizures of illicit pseudoephedrine shipments, and will continue to take steps in support of their efforts to target the diversion of methamphetamine precursor materials said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin.

Today's designation includes key Amezcua Contreras associates Adan Amezcua Contreras, Jaime Ladino Avila, Patricia Amezcua Contreras, Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez, and Telesforo Baltazar Tirado Escamilla, owner of Productos Farmaceuticos Collins, S.A. de C.V.   Today's designation also includes Jalisco businessman Carlos Lomeli Bolanos, who reportedly assisted in the illicit diversion of methamphetamine precursor materials to the Amezcua Contreras Organization.   Included as well are Javier Pulido Valdivia and Rosalinda Rendon Poblete, the owner and general director, respectively, of Laboratorios Willmar, S.A. de C.V., and Luis Alfonso Tirado Diaz and Rolando Tirado Diaz, both senior managers at Productos Farmaceuticos Collins, S.A. de C.V.

The financial and supply network included among today's designations is comprised of companies in the Mexican states of Jalisco and Baja California, including three pharmaceutical companies, Productos Farmaceuticos Collins, S.A. de C.V.; Laboratorios Willmar, S.A. de C.V., and Lomedic, S.A. de C.V.; a natural health products company, Salud Natural Mexicana, S.A. de C.V.; an automobile parts store, American Tune Up, S.A. de C.V.; and a pharmacy company, Farmacia Jerlyne, S.A. de C.V.

On June 1, 2000, the President identified Jose de Jesus and Luis Ignacio Amezcua Contreras as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act.   They are currently imprisoned in Mexico.   The Amezcua Contreras Organization, which the President identified as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker on June 1, 2006, continues to produce methamphetamine in Mexico and distribute it to the United States.   The Amezcua Contreras Organization controls a network of businesses in Mexico that supplies precursor materials for methamphetamine production.   Most notably, multiple tons of pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines that were manufactured or purchased by some of the companies designated today were illicitly diverted to the Amezcua Contreras Organization for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine.

This action is part of ongoing efforts under the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers worldwide.   Internationally, more than 475 businesses and individuals associated with 75 drug kingpins have been designated by OFAC pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000.

Today's designation would not have been possible without key support from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Mexico.

The designation action freezes any assets the 16 designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting transactions or dealings in the property interests of the designated individuals and entities.   Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,075,000 per violation to more severe criminal penalties.   Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5,000,000.   Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10,000,000.   Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code.