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CBP's Arizona Joint Field Command and Federal Partners Target Drug Traffickers

Release Date

TUCSON, ARIZ.—Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Arizona Joint Field Command (JFC) played a significant role in designating eight Sinaloa Cartel Mexican national plaza bosses as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).

In a press conference today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced Cenobio Flores Pacheco (a.k.a. Luis Fernando Castro Villa), Jesus Alfredo Salazar Ramirez, Guillermo Nieblas Nava (a.k.a. Adelmo Niebla Gonzalez), Ramon Ignacio Paez Soto, Felipe De Jesus Sosa Canisales, Armando Lopez Aispuro, Jose Javier Rascon Ramirez, and Raul Sabori Cisneros, as SDNTs operating as plaza bosses for the Sinaloa Cartel.

In 2012, CBP's Targeting Enforcement Unit (TEU), in coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of State (DoS) identified the Sinaloa Cartel members as being responsible for managing the flow of illicit cross-border traffic along the Sonora/Arizona boundary. The cartel members were identified as a direct result of an in-depth analysis of the broad intelligence picture of the entire Arizona area of operations, both at and between ports of entry. This designation highlights the efforts of CBP's Arizona Joint Field Command in conjunction with partners to pinpoint individuals to deal them financial blows that will negatively impact their ability to operate as a criminal enterprise.

The TEU's relationship with the Treasury Department was crucial to ensuring the requirements were met in order to see the nominations become a reality. The TEU, along with partners at DEA and DoS, spent nearly a year researching and documenting the necessary critical elements in order to recommend the identified targets for the Kingpin Act. This collaborative effort represents a "whole of government" approach that was essential to meet the legal requirements of SDNT nominations.

"Today's designation of eight Mexican nationals as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers is the direct result of strong partnerships here in Arizona between CBP, the Treasury Department, DEA and the Department of State and hard work by a lot of dedicated people throughout the federal government committed to this important task," said Jeffrey D. Self, Commander of the Arizona Joint Field Command, during the press conference. "Through the building of partnerships, the JFC facilitated this CBP first-of-its-kind, and the first-of-many efforts to impact the drug trafficking organization's financial structure. The JFC will continue to collaborate with its Arizona allies in order to dismantle the Sinaloa Cartel from every angle and provide a model for other CBP field elements to replicate in order to disrupt drug trafficking organizations."

View the Department of Treasury's press release: Treasury Designates Sinaloa Cartel Plaza Bosses

See a map of the Sinaloa Cartel Plaza Bosses Map and their areas of responsibility along the Sonora/Arizona border.

Last Modified: February 3, 2021