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U.S. Targets Drug Cartel Lieutenant


A man identified by Mexico's Attorney General's office as Jesus Zambada Garcia. (File)

The United States Department of the Treasury has targeted for sanctions a high-level lieutenant of the Zambada Garcia drug cartel, which operates out of the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

The United States Department of the Treasury has targeted for sanctions a high-level lieutenant of the Zambada Garcia drug cartel, which operates out of the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Jose Guadalupe Tapia Quintero was designated for his role in the cartel’s drug trafficking activities, as well as for playing a significant role in international drug trafficking.


The Zambada Garcia drug smuggling organization uses a variety of methods to transport illicit drugs to the United State-Mexican border, and then to distribution cells within the United States. It then takes advantage of legitimate carriers who deliver bulk currency shipments from the United States to Mexico, to launder the proceeds from the sale of these narcotics, and to deliver the money to the organization’s home territory in Mexico.

Jose Guadalupe Tapia Quintero is responsible for overseeing the transportation of illicit drugs for the Zambada Garcia organization. He coordinates the purchase and transportation of cocaine and methamphetamine from Sinaloa into the United States, specifically Arizona and California, on a monthly basis. Tapia Quintero also transports methamphetamine on behalf of a drug trafficking cell affiliated with Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera from Sinaloa to Tijuana in Baja California, using tractor trailers.

It is worth noting that the Sinaloa Cartel, its leader Ismael Zambada Garcia, and Joaquin Guzman Loera, have been identified and sanctioned as significant foreign narcotics traffickers under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. This means that no U.S. citizen, resident or legal entity may engage with them in financial or commercial transactions. As well, all assets of such designated entities that are within the reach of the United States, are frozen.

“We will continue to target all aspects of the Sinaloa Cartel. Our actions will focus on the financial nerve points as well as the underlying logistics that are essential to the cartel’s day-to-day operations, such as the transportation network that we are taking action against today,” said Treasury’s Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Adam J. Szubin.

The United States Department of the Treasury and its numerous drug enforcement partners are following the financial trail of narcotics smuggling organizations, to deprive these traffickers of their assets, draining the lifeblood from their criminal enterprises.
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