The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced this month the designation of the Los Valles drug trafficking organization in Honduras and Honduran national Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the U.S. Foreign Narcotics Kingpin and Designation Act.
The action, announced on August 20th, also targets Luis Alonso Valle Valle and Jose Reynerio Valle Valle, whom the Treasury Department identifies as materially assisting and acting for and on behalf of their brother Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle and the Los Valles drug trafficking organization.
The U.S. Treasury Department also sanctioned four Honduran businesses tied to the Valle Valle brothers. This action prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these designees, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
The Los Valles drug trafficking organization is one of the most prolific Central American narcotics trafficking organizations. The group, led by Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle, is believed to be responsible for the distribution of tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine per month directly into the United States.
The Los Valles organization employs a combination of brutal violence and public corruption in order to keep a stronghold on their base of operations in Copan, Honduras. The Treasury Department alleges that Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle, Luis Alonso Valle Valle, and Jose Reynerio Valle Valle operate their criminal organization as a close-knit family business and launder their narcotics proceeds via a network of companies, including three coffee production companies in Honduras, Inversiones Yosary, Inversiones Luisito, and Inversiones Valle.
They also own a cattle and milk production business named Finca Los Tres Reyes. All four of these Honduran businesses were designated by the U.S. Treasury Department.
On August 17, Honduran authorities embarked on an asset seizure operation against more than 40 properties belonging to the Los Valles drug trafficking organization. This operation came on the heels of the July 2014 arrest in the United States of Digna Valle Valle, the sister of the Valle Valle brothers, on U.S. federal drug charges.
The designation of this organization and individuals by the U.S. Treasury, coupled with the actions taken by the Honduran government in early August, “is another example of our continued coordinated effort to dismantle this illicit organization,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. The United States stands with its partner, Honduras, to combat the drug trafficking threat and protect the U.S. financial system from their illicit proceeds.