The DEA today announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s designated Ezio Benjamin Figueroa Vasquez and his son, Hassein Eduardo Figueroa Gomez, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their significant role in international narcotics trafficking, as well as 16 of their companies in Mexico and Panama.
The Kingpin Act prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and entities, and it freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
Figueroa Vasquez and Figueroa Gomez lead an international precursor chemical trafficking organization responsible for the diversion and importation of multi-ton quantities of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine from Europe and sub-Saharan Africa into Mexico. The organization distributes these precursor materials to major Mexican drug trafficking organizations which manufacture methamphetamine in Mexico for ultimate distribution in the United States.
On November 2, 2011, Figueroa Vasquez and Figueroa Gomez were indicted by a federal grand jury in Virginia.
In September 2011, Mexican authorities arrested Figueroa Vasquez, and he remains in Mexican custody today. The 16 companies designated today in Mexico and Panama range in business activities from real estate and construction to pharmaceutical activity. Among these companies are Mexico City-based pharmaceutical companies Geofarma, S.A. de C.V. and Distribuidora Medica Hitalaria, S.A. de C.V. as well as Guadalajara-based construction and housing development companies Promociones Citadel, S.A. de C.V. and Desarrollo Arquitectonico Fortia, S.A. de C.V.
This initiative is part of a global effort to interdict Mexican drug trafficking organizations’ access to materials needed for the illicit production of methamphetamine.