Honduran Drug Trafficking Organization in Treasury’s Crosshairs

U.S. Treasury Department
Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release
Contact: Hagar Chemali, Treasury Public Affairs (202) 622-2960

Los Valles Organization Targeted for OFAC Sanctions

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of the Los Valles drug trafficking organization in Honduras and Honduran national Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act. Today’s action also targets Luis Alonso and Jose Reynerio Valle Valle, who materially assist and act for and on behalf of their brother Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle and Los Valles drug trafficking organization. Treasury also sanctioned four Honduran businesses tied to the Valle Valle brothers. Today’s action prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these designees, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

The Los Valles drug trafficking organization is one of the most prolific Central American narcotics trafficking organizations. The group, led by Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle, is responsible for the distribution of tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine per month directly into the United States. The Los Valles organization employs a combination of brutal violence and public corruption in order to keep a stronghold on their base of operations in Copan, Honduras. Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle, Luis Alonso Valle Valle, and Jose Reynerio Valle Valle operate their criminal organization as a close-knit family business and launder their narcotics proceeds via a network of companies, including three coffee production companies in Honduras, Inversiones Yosary, Inversiones Luisito, and Inversiones Valle. They also own a cattle and milk production business named Finca Los Tres Reyes. All four of these Honduran businesses were designated today by Treasury.

Earlier this week on August 17, Honduran authorities embarked on an asset seizure operation against more than 40 properties belonging to the Los Valles drug trafficking organization. This operation comes on the heels of the July 2014 arrest in the United States of Digna Valle Valle, the sister of the Valle Valle brothers, on U.S. federal drug charges.

“Coupled with the actions taken by the Honduran government early this week, today’s designation should serve as another indication that we will continue to work in a coordinated effort to dismantle this illicit organization,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “OFAC stands with the Honduran authorities to combat the drug trafficking threat and protect the U.S. financial system from their illicit proceeds.”

Today’s action would not have been possible without the support of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command-Arizona and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security also provided support for this designation.

Since June 2000, more than 1600 individuals and entities have been named pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines for criminal violation of the Kingpin Act pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code.