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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act, according to a press release on the Republican’s website.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 25, 2017
The release claims that the bill would reserve any amounts forfeited to the U.S. Government as a result of the criminal prosecution of “El Chapo” (formally named Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Lorea) and other drug lords for border security assets and the completion of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. Government is currently seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was recently extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering.
“Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals across our southern border,” said Sen. Cruz in his press release. “Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities. We must also be mindful of the impact on the federal budget. By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and his ilk, we can offset the wall’s cost and make meaningful progress toward achieving President Trump’s stated border security objectives.”
On Friday, January 20, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that El Chapo will face charges following his extradition to the United States from Mexico. The U.S. Government has alleged that El Chapo was operating a continuing criminal enterprise and other drug-related crimes through his leadership of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel. The indictment alleges that between January 1989 and December 2014, El Chapo led a continuing criminal enterprise responsible for importing into the United States and distributing massive amounts of illegal narcotics and conspiring to murder persons who posed a threat to El Chapo’s narcotics enterprise, the press release finished.