U.S. freezing assets of 13 Sinaloa cartel members

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Nogales, Sonora-based ‘plaza’ boss, several family members accused of sending fentanyl, other drugs in trucks into U.S.

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The U.S. government is moving to freeze the assets of 13 alleged Sinaloa cartel members and four businesses operating along the Sonora-Arizona border.

The Treasury Department alleges these individuals are responsible for a significant portion of the illicit fentanyl that is trafficked into the United States. The targets include alleged Sinaloa cartel Nogales, Sonora, plaza boss Juan Carlos Morgan Huerta, a.k.a. “Cacayo,” his brothers Jose Arnoldo, Jose Luis, Miguel Angel and Martin, and his uncle Oscar Murillo Morgan, a.k.a. “Chino,” the agency reported.

“As the Nogales ‘plaza’ (turf) boss for the Sinaloa cartel, Juan Carlos Morgan Huerta manages cartel operations in Nogales and oversees the trafficking of multi-ton quantities of drugs including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and illicit fentanyl from Mexico into the United States,” the Treasury Department said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Morgan allegedly uses tractor-trailers and “other methods of concealment” to transport the drugs across the border, the agency said. In April 2021, a federal grand jury in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia indicted Morgan on drug trafficking charges. Federal authorities consider him a fugitive from justice.

The Treasury Department alleges Miguel Angel Morgan Huerta, a former Mexican law enforcement officers, plays an important role in his brother’s organization, by using his connection to bribe authorities. The agency alleges Martin Morgan Huerta and Oscar Murillo Morgan procure the supply of illicit drugs while other clan members manage transportation, logistics, negotiate deals and launder illicit drug proceeds.

The alleged family-based organization has ties to the Ismael “Mayo” Zambada faction of the Sinaloa cartel, according to the Treasury Department.

This U.S. Treasury Department chart shows the members of a major Sinaloa cartel cell targeted for economic sanctions by the U.S. government.

As a result of Tuesday’s joint U.S. Treasury Department and Mexican Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) sanctions, all property and interests that the designated individuals and companies have in the United States will be blocked and reported to the Office of Foreign Assets control, the Treasury Department said.

“Today’s action is part of a whole-of-government effort to counter the global threat posed by the trafficking of illicit drugs into the United States that is causing the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans each year,” the agency said in the statement. “Today’s action will help strengthen public safety by disrupting the illicit drug production and trafficking pipeline that profits by harming Americans.”

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