US sanctions alleged drug traffickers from Mexico, Ecuador
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday it has sanctioned men from Mexico and Ecuador accused of shipping tons of cocaine from South America to the United States.
Wilder Emilio Sanchez Farfan of Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Miguel Angel Valdez Ruiz of Culiacan, Mexico, work together to supply Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel with cocaine, the Treasury said in a statement.
Both men have been under federal indictment on drug trafficking charges since 2019 and are considered fugitives.
The designation by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control freezes any assets they have in the United States and prohibits U.S. citizens or companies from having any transactions with them.
Sanchez Farfan is accused of moving tons of cocaine from processing labs neighboring Colombia to Ecuador. The drugs are then moved north via land, air and sea. Treasury said he “is one of the most significant drug traffickers in the world today.”
Valdez Ruiz allegedly works as the middleman between Sanchez Farfan and Ismael Zambada Garcia, a leader of the Sinaloa cartel. “Valdez Ruiz uses his fleet of private aircraft to transport cocaine from Ecuador to Sinaloa,” the statement said.
The Sinaloa cartel then moves the drugs to the U.S. border, primarily into Southern California.