April 6 (UPI) — The U.S. Treasury on Friday sanctioned two men it says laundered money and ran an international prostitution ring for a Mexican drug cartel.
The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added Jesus Perez Alvear to the foreign narcotics kingpins list — it says for laundering money for the powerful Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion and the Los Cuinis Drug trafficking cartel.
The department also sanctioned Venezuelan-Italian fashion photographer Miguel Jose Leone Martinez, who the Treasury said helped lead an international prostitution ring associated with the Los Cuinis.
“Treasury is targeting individuals who work on behalf of violent Mexican drug kingpins, and support their opulent lifestyles by trafficking deadly drugs into the United States,” department official Sigal Mandelker said.
Officials said Alvear launders proceeds from drugs through Mexican concerts staged at large events, like those held in Aguascalientes and Metepec. He’s been known, they added, to promote musical acts known for singing ballads that glorify traffickers and illicit activities.
“Our designation of Jesus Perez Alvear exposes his role helping CJNG and Los Cuinis exploit the Mexican music industry to launder drug proceeds and glorify their criminal activities,” the Treasury said.
The department said Martinez used his role as a photographer to recruit models and pageant contestants from South America and Europe to serve as prostitutes for senior members of Los Cuinis.
Since 2000, the Treasury has named more than 2,000 individuals and entities pursuant to the Kingpin Act for trafficking offenses.