DEA freezes assets of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin tied to AZ
Posted: Jan 16, 2014 1:35 PM Updated: Jan 16, 2014 6:48 PM
By Phil Benson
Jose Guadalupe Tapia Quintero (Source: DEA) Jose Guadalupe Tapia Quintero (Source: DEA)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
The U.S. government has frozen the assets of a senior lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel syndicate suspected of coordinating the purchase and movement of cocaine and methamphetamine into Arizona and California on a monthly basis.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is unsealing an indictment against a high-ranking member of a Mexican drug cartel.
The DEA said Jose Guadalupe Tapia-Quintero, 42, was indicted by a federal grand jury in February on drug possession and money laundering charges.
DEA officials said Tapia-Quintero is from Sinaloa, Mexico, and owned several businesses, including bus and tractor-trailer companies in Mexico. Authorities say he used that business to move meth across the Mexican border into Arizona.
DEA officials have made three arrests in connection to Tapia-Quintero and seized 148 pounds of meth, 30 kilograms of cocaine and more than $770,000.
Jose Guadalupe Tapia Quintero, of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for his role in the drug trafficking activities of Ismael "Mayo" Zambada Garcia and for playing a significant role in international drug trafficking.
Besides freezing assets he may have under U.S. jurisdiction, the Tapia Quintero's designation generally prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with him.
"Our actions will focus on their financial nerve points as well as the underlying logistics which are essential to their day-to-day operations such as the transportation network that we are taking action against today," said Treasury's Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Adam Szubin.
Tapia Quintero also transports methamphetamine, using semi-trailers, on behalf of a drug trafficking cell affiliated with Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman Loera from Sinaloa to Tijuana, Baja California.
"We're relentlessly following the financial trail to deprive these traffickers of their assets, draining the lifeblood from their criminal enterprises," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman.
CBS 5 News is getting reaction from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and we'll have that report Friday during the 10 p.m. news.