The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control on Wednesday announced that Sinaloa cartel senior lieutenant Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa has been added to its list of major international drug traffickers.
Arechiga Gamboa was designated for his role as head of an extremely violent arm of the organization led by Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada Garcia, one of the Sinaloa mob's kingpins, Treasury said in a press release.
Based in Culiacan, capital of the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, Arechiga Gamboa "controls Los Antrax, which provides personal security and protection for Zambada Garcia and his family, and is also responsible for targeting and eliminating rivals of Zambada Garcia," the release said.
Arechiga Gamboa, a.k.a. "Chino Antrax," "also handles transportation and logistical issues" for the Sinaloa Cartel's top leader, Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman, Treasury said.
"Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa represents the next generation of hyper violent drug traffickers who carry out the activities of Mayo Zambada and the Sinaloa Cartel," OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin said.
Treasury said the designation generally prohibits U.S. citizens from doing business with Arechiga Gamboa and freezes any assets he may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
"In today's designation, OFAC is once again broadcasting to Zambada and his associates that the United States is off-limits to their illicit funds," Szubin said.
Arechiga Gamboa was arrested on Dec. 30 by Dutch authorities in Amsterdam just 10 days after a federal grand jury in the Southern District of California returned a sealed indictment charging him with multiple drug-trafficking violations.
The United States is currently seeking his extradition.
The Sinaloa cartel, sometimes referred to by officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico and Chapo Guzman, considered extremely violent, is one of the most-wanted criminals in Mexico and the United States, where the Drug Enforcement Administration has offered a reward of $5 million for him.
The United States is offering a separate $5 million reward for El Maya Zambada's capture.
The Sinaloa organization, according to intelligence agencies, is a transnational business empire that operates in the United States, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Americas and Asia. EFE