The Biden administration is cracking down on drug traffickers with ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, charging 28 individuals with crimes ranging from drug trafficking to machine gun possession to money laundering. The Department of Justice indictments included the three sons of former Sinaloa head Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, and the Department of Treasury imposed sanctions on two Chinese entities and five people based in China and Guatemala.
The indictments come as the U.S. grapples with a massive influx of migrants from Central America and Mexico, as well as a major fentanyl crisis that has hit American communities hard.
“Families and communities across our country are being devastated by the fentanyl epidemic,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement. “Today’s actions demonstrate the comprehensive approach the Justice Department is taking to disrupt fentanyl trafficking and save American lives.”
The indictments and sanctions are part of the Biden administration’s effort to combat the drug crisis on the U.S. southern border. Republicans have been calling for a more aggressive response to the cartels, some suggesting that they be declared terrorist organizations and that the U.S. military should be sent to combat them.
The Sinaloa Cartel is one of the most powerful drug cartels in Mexico, and the Chinese entities are accused of supplying the precursors used to make fentanyl. Customs and Border Protection has seized over 50,000 pounds of fentanyl from attempted drug traffickers in the past fiscal year.
The Biden administration’s efforts to crack down on drug trafficking may be too little, too late for many families who have lost loved ones to the opioid crisis. But the administration is sending a clear message that they will not tolerate illegal drug trafficking and are taking steps to make sure that those who break the law are brought to justice.