Mexican Soccer Star Sanctioned by USA for Drug Trafficking Ties

Mexico Soccer Star Among 22 Sanctioned for Alleged Drug Ties

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Mexico's national team captain was among 22 people sanctioned by the US Treasury yesterday for financial ties to Raul Flores Hernandez, a suspected drug trafficker.

Raul Flores Hernandez was the operator of this drug organization for more than 20 years and was able to cover up his work by working with other drug cartels.

Flores Hernandez allegedly operated independently in the northern city of Guadalajara - where Marquez's current club is located - but maintained alliances with the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels.

Under terms of the sanction announced on Thursday (AEST), any assets Marquez has that are under US jurisdiction are frozen and "U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions" with him.

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Mike Vigil, former chief of global operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and author of the book "Deal", said the 64-year old Flores Hernandez has been in the business since the 1980s. Associates of Flores Hernandez designated today include Fernando Gustavo Alvarez Peralta, Diego Ayala Romero, Linda Elizabeth Campos Tirado, Efrain and Omar Caro Urias, Hugo Ivan and Victor Manuel Carranza Zepeda, Jose Antonio Cordero Cardenas, and Mario Alberto Fernandez Santana. In March 2017, federal drug trafficking indictments were returned in the District of Columbia and the Southern District of California against Flores Hernandez.

Mexico captain and former Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez has been sanctioned by the United States after being accused of being a "front person" for a drug-trafficking cartel.

Márquez, 38, has represented Mexico in four World Cups and has won more than 150 global caps.

Marquez spent seven seasons at the Camp Nou between 2003 and 2010, making 240 appearances for the club and winning two Champions League titles in a hugely successful spell. He played three seasons in MLS for the New York Red Bulls. He has played in four FIFA World Cups and is vying to become just the third player to play in five.

Several news outlets reported that I am part of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Treasury Department for alleged ties to criminal organization.

Marquez's soccer academy and health and rehabilitation clinics were among the sanctioned organizations, according to Reuters.

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