“Morogris” for Borderland Beat

Julión Álvarez
Regional Mexican music singer Julion Alvarez returned to the United States this Friday after he was unable to visit following his listing in the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) in 2017. He was removed from the blacklist last year.
Through social media, Alvarez shared a statement in which he announced the news, and he also expressed gratitude to his fans for supporting him throughout the process.
In August 2017, Alvarez was accused of money laundering by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. They accused him of acting as a frontman for a drug trafficking group aligned to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and its sister organization Los Cuinis.
The sanction was also extended to Mexican football star Rafael Márquez and about 20 more individuals and companies.
“It was a very long and complicated process, filled with a lot of effort, sweat, and, of course, tears. However, thanks to the support of the public, fans, and media throughout all these years, [Alvarez] managed to stay strong and [his fans] were a great source of support for him”, his promotion team said.
Individuals sanctioned by the US government, including Alvarez, on August 2017 (Image credit: OFAC)
Details of the sanction
In August 2017, the United States authorities imposed sanctions on Raul Flores Hernández (alias El Tio) and the Flores Drug Trafficking Organization (Flores DTO) under the Kingpin Act.
Along with Flores and his cartel, 21 Mexican individuals (including Alvarez) and 42 entities in Mexico were also designated by OFAC for their involvement in supporting the narcotics trafficking activities of Flores Hernandez and the Flores DTO, or for being owned or controlled by them, their members, or trusted associates.
This action represented the most extensive single Kingpin Act action taken against a Mexican drug cartel network by OFAC at that time.
Consequently, all assets of the designated individuals and entities, subject to U.S. jurisdiction or controlled by U.S. persons, were frozen, and U.S. persons were generally barred from conducting transactions with them.
U.S. authorities say that Flores-Hernandez was a long-time international drug kingpin. Although he operated independently, he maintained tied with multiple drug cartels in Mexico since the 1980s.
He reportedly had drug and money laundering ties with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), Sinaloa Cartel, Gulf Cartel, and the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO). His criminal network was mostly based in Guadalajara and Mexico City, and included a vast web of family members and trusted associates.
Alvarez denied the allegations and ties to Flores Hernandez as soon as the announcement was made. But the legal battle to clear his name from the Kingpin Act’s list took many years.