WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Jesus Cisneros Hernandez, a Mexican arms trafficker, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14059 for having provided, or having attempted to provide, financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of a person designated under E.O. 14059, namely, the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG). CJNG is a violent Mexico-based organization that traffics a significant proportion of the illicit fentanyl and other deadly drugs that enter the United States. Today’s action was taken in coordination with the Government of Mexico and is the result of OFAC’s collaboration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
“CJNG relies on high-powered weapons primarily obtained from the United States to protect its territory while intimidating rivals and governmental authorities,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury Brian E. Nelson. “CJNG’s access to these weapons contributes to its ability to flood the United States with fentanyl and other deadly drugs. Treasury is working with U.S. and Mexican partners to expose, isolate, and disrupt those who facilitate CJNG’s lethal activities.”
Jesus Cisneros Hernandez is a Mexican arms trafficker who has conspired to purchase high-powered firearms in Wisconsin, smuggle the firearms to Mexico, and supply the firearms to CJNG. In November 2021, a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin charged Cisneros Hernandez with twenty-two counts of various firearm-related violations in furtherance of this conspiracy.
PREVIOUS ACTIONS AGAINST CJNG
On April 8, 2015, OFAC sanctioned CJNG pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for playing a significant role in international narcotics trafficking. On December 15, 2021, OFAC also designated CJNG pursuant to E.O. 14059. OFAC targeted CJNG’s arms trafficking activities in a previous action. On July 11, 2022, OFAC designated Obed Christian Sepulveda Portillo, who coordinated the daily procurement of firearms and bulk ammunition from the U.S. southwest border into Mexico through a network of indiviudals working directly with CJNG.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. U.S. persons may face civil or criminal penalties for violations of E.O. 14059 and the Kingpin Act.
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 annually, as well as countless more non-fatal overdoses. OFAC, in coordination with its U.S. Government partners and foreign counterparts, will continue to target and pursue accountability for foreign illicit drug actors.
The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please click here.