Action Targets Cartel Enforcer and Security Firm Linked to the Beltran Leyva Organization
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Arnoldo Villa Sanchez as a specially designated narcotics trafficker (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Arnoldo Villa Sanchez, a.k.a. Erick Rene Calderon Sanchez, is the chief of security for Hector Beltran Leyva, the leader of the Beltran Leyva drug trafficking organization. Villa Sanchez has carried out numerous acts of violence on behalf of his cartel bosses. In addition to the action against Villa Sanchez, the Treasury Department also designated Sistemas Elite De Seguridad Privada, S.A. de C.V., a private security firm, for being owned and controlled by Arnoldo Villa Sanchez. Treasury also designated Miguel Loza Hernandez for his links to Arnoldo Villa Sanchez and Sistemas Elite De Seguridad Privada, S.A. de C.V. Today's action, pursuant to the Kingpin Act, generally 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.
"We have been closely monitoring the resurgence of the Beltran Leyva Organization as it battles for a larger share of the narcotics trade in Mexico. We are determined to target all sides in this cartel war and will continue to use our authorities to disrupt these violent organizations," said Treasury's Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Adam J. Szubin.
Arnoldo Villa Sanchez is a top associate of Hector Beltran Leyva and serves as his security chief. OFAC designated Hector Beltran Leyva as a SDNT in December 2009. Arnoldo Villa Sanchez is the largest shareholder of Sistemas Elite De Seguridad Privada, S.A. de C.V., a Guadalajara, Mexico based security services firm with more than 150 employees. Sistemas Elite De Seguridad Privada, S.A. de C.V. specializes in personnel protection and alarm services. Miguel Loza Hernandez manages, and is a shareholder of, Sistemas Elite De Seguridad Privada, S.A. de C.V. Since 2008, Beltran Leyva Organization has waged a bloody war against rival organizations led by Joaquín "Chapo" Guzman Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel. In the last two years, the Beltran Leyva Organization has re-established itself and begun to expand its influence in parts of Sinaloa.
The President identified the Beltran Leyva Organization and Marcos Arturo Beltran Leyva as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act in May 2008. Hector Beltran Leyva has been indicted on drug trafficking charges by federal grand juries in the District of Columbia (2004) and the Eastern District of New York (2009). The U.S. Department of State is offering up to a five million dollar reward for any information that leads to the capture of Hector Beltran Leyva. In addition, Mexican authorities are offering up to 30,000,000 Mexican Pesos (two million dollars) for information leading to his arrest. On January 20, 2008, Mexican authorities arrested Alfredo Beltran Leyva, the former leader of the Beltran Leyva Organization, on organized crime, drug trafficking, and unauthorized use of military grade weapons charges. In December 2009, the Mexican military killed Marcus Arturo Beltran Leyva. Subsequently, Hector Beltran Leyva assumed the role as leader of the Beltran Leyva organization.
Since June 2000, the President has identified 103 drug kingpins, and OFAC has designated more than 1,300 businesses and individuals, pursuant to the Kingpin Act. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million 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 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.
For a chart relating to today's actions click here.