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US announces sanctions on alleged Mexican heroin trafficker

May 24, 2017 GMT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The U.S. government is imposing sanctions on alleged Mexican drug traffickers described by the Treasury Department as “major contributors to our nation’s heroin epidemic.”

The Treasury Department says the sanctions target Jose Luis Ruelas Torres and 10 members of his family-based Ruelas Torres organization. It calls the gang “an independent opium and heroin production and distribution organization that smuggles multi-kilogram heroin quantities into the United States.”

The sanctions announced Wednesday freeze any assets held by those on the list that are under U.S. jurisdiction and bar Americans from entering into transactions with them.

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The gang allegedly has shipped heroin from Sinaloa state to cities ranging from Los Angeles to New York for “well over two decades.” Those cities include Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Columbus and Detroit.