- - Tuesday, December 14, 2010

DRUG TRAFFICKING

U.S. blacklists drug kingpins’ associates

The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday said it tightened sanctions on the financial network of two top Colombian drug traffickers, blacklisting 20 individuals and 25 business enterprises.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control named the entities as specially designated narcotics traffickers because of their ties to Daniel Barrera Barrera, known as “El Loco Barrera,” and Pedro Oliviero Guerrero Castillo, known as “Cuchillo.”

The Treasury says the two, previously designated in March, are among the most-wanted drug traffickers in Colombia today.

The actions prohibit U.S. persons from conducting transactions with the designated entities and individuals and seek to freeze any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

The Treasury has said Barrera and Guerrero Castillo operate primarily in the eastern plains of Colombia between Bogota and the Venezuelan border, in partnership with the leftist rebel group FARC.

Among those targeted by the latest sanctions under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designations Act was German Gonzalo Sanchez Rey, who was arrested by Colombian authorities in May and awaits extradition to Spain on drug-trafficking charges.

NEW JOB

Tough-on-illegals mayor quits for Congress

HAZLETON, Pa. | A Pennsylvania mayor whose get-tough policies on illegal immigrants attracted national attention has resigned after 11 years in office and will head to Congress.

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta was elected to the U.S. House last month, defeating a 26-year Democratic incumbent on his third try. He left the mayor’s office at noon on Tuesday.

Mr. Barletta says he’s proud of his effort to drive illegal immigrants from the city of about 30,000. Four years ago, he championed an ordinance that penalized landlords for renting to illegal immigrants and businesses that employed them. Cities around the country followed suit.

A federal judge struck down Hazleton’s law as unconstitutional in 2007, and it has never been enforced. The city appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court last week.

NEW YORK

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