Treasury Sanctions Guatemalan Trafficker Allied with Los Zetas

By Dialogo
August 23, 2013

On August 21, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned Jairo Estuardo Orellana Morales, a violent Guatemalan narcotics trafficker, as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).

Orellana Morales traffics cocaine through Guatemala on behalf of Los Zetas and has been implicated in several executions in Guatemala in support of his drug trafficking activities.

Orellana Morales is linked to Marta Julia Lorenzana Cordon, a member of the Lorenzana crime family, who was designated by Treasury pursuant to the Kingpin Act in November 2012.

This announcement is the latest in a series of efforts by the Treasury Department to thwart transnational drug cartels, such as Los Zetas, which are responsible for distributing significant amounts of cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine in the United States.

President Obama identified Los Zetas as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker under the Kingpin Act in April 2009 and in July 2011, he named Los Zetas as a significant Transnational Criminal Organization in the Annex to Executive Order 13581 (Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations).

This action prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with Jairo Orellana Morales, and freezes any assets he may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Internationally, OFAC has designated more than 1300 businesses and individuals linked to 103 drug kingpins since June 2000. 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 of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines for criminal violation of the Kingpin Act pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code.