National Security

Biden Admin Sanctions Fugitive Known As ‘Anthrax Monkey,’ Other Members Of Notorious Fentanyl Cartel

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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The Biden administration sanctioned three members of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel for fentanyl trafficking, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday.

The sanctions target “plaza bosses” Alfonso Arzate Garcia and his brother, Rene Arzate Garcia and Rafael Guadalupe Felix Nuñez (Felix Nuñez), known as “the anthrax monkey,” all of whom remain fugitives and are charged for trafficking involving fentanyl or its precursor chemicals, according to the Treasury Department. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is largely responsible for the more than 100,000 overdose deaths that occurred in the U.S. in 2021. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Tim Scott Releases Campaign Ad Pledging To ‘Unleash’ Military On ‘Terrorist’ Cartels)

Felix Nuñez rose to leadership of Sinaloa’s armed wing, “Los Antrax,” in 2013. He was later indicted in 2014 on drug trafficking charges by a U.S. judge, arrested by Mexican authorities months later and escaped from prison in 2017 with his fellow cartel members, according to the Treasury Department. Meanwhile, the Arzate Garcia brothers manage the Sinaloa cartel’s drug trafficking operations in Tijuana and areas nearby and are involved in kidnappings and executions.

Following Felix Nuñez’s prison escape, he became a violent leader of Sinaloa in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico, which houses a large port known for illicit drug imports, according to the Treasury Department.

U.S. Department of Treasury

U.S. Department of Treasury

“Today’s action targets key individuals responsible for facilitating the illicit trafficking of deadly drugs, including fentanyl, into the United States, where it wreaks havoc on our communities,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement Wednesday of the latest sanctions.

“Treasury remains committed to leveraging our tools in support of our whole-of-government effort to aggressively target all aspects of the supply chain and starve these criminal groups of the funding they need to operate,” Nelson added.

The Department of Treasury said its action was a result of coordination between U.S. and Mexican authorities.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to meet with Mexico’s foreign minister Thursday and fentanyl will be a topic of discussion at the meeting. The Mexican government, however, has recently denied that fentanyl comes from Mexico.

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