Treasury Sanctions MS-13-Affiliates for Drug Trafficking and Contract Killings in Central America and the United States
Action Part of Interagency Effort to Disrupt Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13)
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias a.k.a. “Alexander Mendoza” a.k.a. “Porky,” an MS-13 gang leader based in Honduras, and David Elias Campbell Licona a.k.a. “Jorge Eduardo Perez Paz,” an MS-13 associate based in Nicaragua, pursuant to transnational criminal organization authorities. Both individuals are heavily involved in drug trafficking, violence, murder, extortion, and money laundering.
The U.S. Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program also announced a reward offer of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias. Submit tips via phone, text, or through the following applications WhatsApp/Signal/Telegram at (+1-202-451-8122) or in Honduras (+504-8886-7166).
“Treasury’s sanctions against MS-13 aim to interrupt its use of the financial system to launder illicit proceeds,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “MS-13 is a violent, destabilizing threat to the security of people in Central America. Its criminal activities degrade economies in the region to such a degree that citizens are compelled to seek safety and better opportunities elsewhere.”
In October 2012, MS-13 became the first transnational criminal street gang to be designated by Treasury as a transnational criminal organization. MS-13 conducts its illicit activities in the United States and around the world. MS-13’s criminal activity includes human smuggling, sex trafficking, narcotics trafficking, murder, assassinations, racketeering, blackmail, extortion, and immigration offenses. MS-13’s criminal activities have helped make Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras one of the most violent regions in the world. MS-13’s violent grip in Central America is one of the forces driving thousands of migrants to flee for the United States. Migrants from the Northern Triangle—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—have headed to the U.S. southern border in much publicized caravans to flee violence and poverty.
YULAN ADONAY ARCHAGA CARIAS
Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias (Archaga Carias) is a leader of MS-13 in Honduras who has led MS-13 drug trafficking operations that included processing, receiving, transporting, and distributing multi-ton loads of cocaine through Honduras to the United States, and he has ordered the murders of rival gang members and others associated with MS-13. Archaga Carias contracted out members of MS-13 as “sicarios,” or assassins, to other drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) for payment. In that role, members of MS-13 committed numerous murders for hire for DTOs trafficking cocaine through Honduras to the United States. Archaga Carias also supplied other DTOs with firearms, including machine guns, that were received from El Salvador, Nicaragua, and elsewhere. Archaga Carias is a fugitive from U.S. and Honduran law enforcement. Archaga Carias has escaped from prison in Honduras; his escape involved a group of over 20 men who may or may not have been actual officers wearing Honduran military and National Anti-Gang Force uniforms carrying assault weapons. The group succeeded in violently rescuing him from the courthouse in El Progreso, Honduras, leaving at least five dead (including police officers) at the site. A federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York indicted Archaga Carias in 2021 for various conspiracy charges including racketeering, cocaine importation, murder, and possession of machine guns.
OFAC designated Archaga Carias pursuant to E.O. 13581, as amended by E.O. 13863, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, MS-13.
DAVID ELIAS CAMPBELL LICONA
David Elias Campbell Licona (Campbell Licona) is an MS-13 associate who planned and coordinated retaliatory acts of violence with Archaga Carias and assisted MS-13 and Archaga Carias in establishing businesses to launder the gang’s drug proceeds. Campbell Licona and MS-13 used businesses they owned or controlled to launder drug proceeds, including through banks in the United States. Campbell Licona is currently incarcerated in Nicaragua. A federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York indicted Campbell Licona in the same 2021 indictment as Archaga Carias for various conspiracy charges, including racketeering, cocaine importation, murder, and possession of machine guns.
OFAC designated Campbell Licona pursuant to E.O. 13581, as amended by E.O. 13863, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, MS-13.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.
The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please click here.