The United States on Wednesday froze the assets of the Colombian drug lord Jose Evaristo Linares Castillo under the Kingpin Act.
Linares Castillo was labeled as a “Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker (SDNT)” by the U.S. Department of Treasury. A press release from the department stated that Linares Castillo leads a Colombia-based drug trafficking organization in Villavicencio (in the central Colombian department of Meta) that “oversees the manufacturing and air smuggling of thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela, through Central America into Mexico, and then, ultimately into the United States.”
The drug lord, who was captured in Colombia in May of 2012, is awaiting extradition to the U.S. as he is being charged by two separate U.S. district courts for drug trafficking related offenses.
“The Linares Castillo organization is a significant source of supply for multiple violent drug cartels that exploit vulnerable Central American countries…We continue to aggressively target key transporters,” said the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Castillo is also accused of having links with FARC, Colombia’s largest guerrilla group as well as other major drug lords such as the captured Daniel “El Loco” Barrera, which have made him, according to the U.S., “one of the largest cocaine sources for drug laden aircrafts departing…[for] Central America.”
In the last 12 years, 97 drug kingpins have been identified and more than 1,200 businesses and individuals have been designated pursuant to the Kingpin Act. Penalties for violations of this act start at $1.075 million per violation, with criminal penalties for corporate officers including up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million.
- Treasury designates head of aviation smuggling operation (U.S. Departmet of the Treasury)
- Congelan Bienes en EE. UU. de “narco” Jose Evaristo Linares Castillo (El Tiempo)
- Congelan bienes de “narco” Jose Evaristo Castillo (El Universal)