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Mexico’s Familia Michoacana drug cartel joins Kinahans on US sanctions list

A major American crackdown has been ordered on drug boss brothers José Alfredo Hurtado and Johnny Hurtado.

Johnny Hurtado and José Alfredo Hurtado

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

A notorious Mexican drug cartel known as The New Michoacana Family has joined the Kinahans on a heavy-hitting US sanctions list.

The crime gang has been accused of manufacturing “rainbow” fentanyl pills purportedly aimed at young children.

A major American crackdown has been ordered on drug boss brothers José Alfredo Hurtado and Johnny Hurtado.

“Not only does this cartel traffic fentanyl, which claimed the lives of more than 108,000 Americans last year, it now markets ‘rainbow fentanyl’ as part of a deliberate effort to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” said Brian E. Nelson, the US Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

It has been debated whether the multi-coloured pills are aimed at kids or if it is just the La Nueva Familia Michoacana ‘brand’.

The violent gang has also been accused of trafficking heroin, meth and cocaine along with fentanyl often disguised as Adderall, Xanax or Oxycodone.

Last month, Mexican authorities said a massacre of 20 townspeople in Totolapan, Guerrero – the cartel's main base – was the work of José Alfredo.

The cartel leader reportedly used social media to blame a rival gang for the killing of the town’s mayor, his father and 18 other men.

Mexico’s Familia Michoacana join Ireland's Kinahan cartel on the list of crime gangs being sanctioned by the US.

In April, Christy Kinahan Snr and his two sons, Daniel and Christopher Jnr, were placed on the same Office of Foregin Assets Control (OFAC) list as the Hertado brothers.

U.S. authorities issued wanted posters for members of the Kinahan family.

“The Kinahan Organised Crime Group smuggles deadly narcotics, including cocaine, to Europe, and is a threat to the entire licit economy through its role in international money laundering,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson in a statement.

"Criminal groups like the KOCG prey on the most vulnerable in society and bring drug-related crime and violence, including murder, to the countries in which they operate.”

Individuals who breach sanctions imposed on mob boss Daniel Kinahan and his associates face fines of up to $1 million and a maximum 20 years in a US prison.

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