Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Treasury Targets Sinaloa Cartel Leader’s Corporate Network

Friday, July 27, 2012 |

From the archives that were awaiting publication:

By Samuel Rubenfeld
Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Treasury Department said Tuesday it slapped Kingpin Act sanctions on nine entities and 10 individuals linked to a leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel.

Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, also known as El Azul, has used money from his involvement in the drug trade to build a network of businesses that includes a housing development, a shopping mall and an industrial park, Treasury said.

“While other Mexican narcotics traffickers have garnered and in some cases sought more attention, Esparragoza Moreno has purposely kept a low profile hoping to avoid scrutiny while increasing his influence and ill-gotten gains,” said Adam J. Szubin, director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, in a statement.  “His entire corporate network that was created with illicit drug proceeds is in our sights.”

El Azul, whom Treasury said has been active in the drug trade since the 1970s, was identified in 2003 under the Kingpin Act as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker. Sinaloa was identified in 2009.

He was indicted on drug-trafficking charges in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in 2003, and is wanted in both the U.S. and Mexico, Treasury said.
The U.S. State Department Narcotics Rewards Program is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to El Azul’s arrest, while Mexican authorities are offering 30 million pesos for information leading to his capture.

Six of the 10 individuals placed under sanctions Tuesday are members of El Azul’s family–two of his wives and four of his children. One of the wives owns property on his behalf. She, along with the four children she had with him who were sanctioned Tuesday, own and operate two companies that manage the property, where they developed a residential community and a shopping mall, Treasury said. One of the companies also manages an industrial park.

The other wife, along with three others, were slapped with sanctions for owning or controlling seven gas stations on El Azul’s behalf, Treasury said.

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12 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Is El Azul a member of the Sinaloa cartel? I thought he was a mediator between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartel. Anyone know?

Ricky Estrada said...

he is a KEY member of the sinaloa cartel . . .he also serves as an ad hoc negotiator and conciliator amongst drug trafficking clans.

Anonymous said...

I know that his skating under the radar is over!

Anonymous said...

Seems to be alot of heat on him as of late.
Where are the " Suspicions ", hahaha.
Everyone will know start to claim Chapo flipped him.
Foolishness aside, this dude is one of the old skool traketoros around who usually doesn't use violent ways. Seems that it would be stupid to concentrate efforts to apprehend when in the end you have bigger fights to fight with worst people.
Pick your poison carefully.

white boy said...

el azul is what senor miguel felix gallardo wanted all cartels working together he is a mediator and doing his best to bring down the violence trust me if he wasnt involved to keeping the piece there would be 6 times more deaths than whats in the statistics everyone is starting to work together even cds and la familia the tijuana and juarez and zetas with everyone else but cds and zetas got to bring this to the end its getting really bad for business and causing a possible of other cartels joining the fight chapo and zeta bosses have to bring this to and end just a resident in tijuana and pls stop posting arellanos are on the weakend side of it all there very powerful everywhere i go i see them ive never saw another cartel runing here just last week i was invited to a private party one of la senora alicia arellano felix daughter was having a party with alot of pgr presence and bodyguards thats is not a sign of weakness and fear and im just a white boy and american dont mess with them they dont mess with you peace out bros oh yeah i forgot were the party was at officers

Anonymous said...

Cds had to hand over someone big..may as well be Azul is what Chapos thinking because Chapo and Mayo sure as hell will never be arrested again.

Anonymous said...

The US should do something about their own bank's illegal activities first.

Anonymous said...

You rite bro because el chaputo started ALL this mess. Mexico was awesome when i was growing up but that little coward started in baja califas and then chihuas n the the gulf. He hasnt cleaned up shit but the mexican media. Now the world just laughs at us because we're killing each other and over that pussys crumbs. Everybody acts like either they met him and their life was transformed or they believe the corridos by the chicanas.

Anonymous said...

He used to be from the Juarez cartel/associate but switched side to sinaloa when Amado died.He's known for being a mediator because he believes blood is bad for business but since its personal between sapo and Carrillo nothing was resolved.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Duck chaputa the bitch is a under cover piercing working with the f b I he's rat and gay ads muther fucker let the templarios get their hands on he's biaach ass he would be down ducking rat

Al quds said...

Its funny how the put
W.T.F ?

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