The Department of Justice sent out a press release Monday morning titled “Leaders of the Lorenzana Drug Trafficking Organization Extradited on International Narcotics Trafficking Charges.”
The release explains two Guatemalan nationals were extradited to the United States from Guatemala on Friday in order to face international narcotics trafficking charges against them. The release states:
Guatemalan nationals Haroldo Geremias Lorenzana-Cordon, aka Chuci, aka Chuchy, and Marta Julia Lorenzana-Cordon, aka Julie, aka Yulie, aka Julia and aka Morena, were extradited from Guatemala to the United States on Dec. 10 to face international drug trafficking charges. They made their initial court appearance in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 11. They are detained pending their appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Court documents say the defendants were leaders of the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization, a criminal group comprised primarily of family members. “The organization transports tonnage quantities of cocaine from Colombia into Guatemala, where the cocaine is inventoried and stored on properties owned by the organization throughout Guatemala. Once processed, the organization works with the Sinaloa Cartel, among other organizations, to traffic cocaine into Mexico, through Central America, and eventually, into the United States.”
Documents also show that between 1996 and 2019, the group helped transport, store and distribute multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia to Central America and Mexico, for eventual distribution into the United States.
The press release states “Defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing and intending that it will be unlawfully imported to the United States. If convicted, they each face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.”
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U.S. Commerce Department: Chinese firms are supplying Russian entities
On Tuesday, the United States Commerce Department said several companies in China are supplying Russia’s military. The announcement was made alongside a “new round of blacklist restrictions for foreign firms aiding Moscow’s war against Ukraine” reports National Review.
“These entities have previously supplied items to Russian entities of concern before February 24, 2022 and continue to contract to supply Russian entity listed and sanctioned parties after Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine,” stated an official Commerce Department notice posted to the Federal Register.
“Commerce also blacklisted several Chinese companies and Chinese government research institutes for their work on naval-technology and supplying Iran with U.S. tech in a way that harms America’s national security” adds National Review.
Six companies that are helping further the Russian invasion are also based in Lithuania, Russia, the U.K., Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
National Review reports:
The Commerce Department stopped short of blaming the Chinese government for the sanctions-evasion activity it identified today. Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo previously said that there doesn’t appear to be any “systemic efforts by China to go around our export controls.” The Biden administration has publicly and privately warned Beijing against supporting the Russian war, with White House officials even leaking to the press about an effort to present China’s ambassador in Washington with information about Russian troop movements ahead of the invasion.
While Beijing has not expressed outright support for the invasion, it has used its propaganda networks to back Moscow’s narrative. Meanwhile, top Chinese and Russian officials have moved to solidify the “no-limits” partnership they declared in early February. General secretary Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a call this month, marking the construction of a new bridge between their two countries, during which they reiterated their support for the burgeoning geopolitical alignment.
National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said last month that the U.S. has no indications that Beijing has provided Russia with military equipment. A Finnish think tank, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, estimated on June 12 that Chinese imports of Russian oil since the outset of the conflict have amounted to $13 billion, making China the biggest consumer of the country’s oil exports. Previously, it was Germany. “While Germany cut back on purchases since the start of the war, China’s oil and gas imports from Russia rose in February and remained at a roughly constant level since,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted.
Official advisor Anton Gerashchenko tweeted incredible video of Ukrainian soldiers sweeping through fields, writing “this is how our fields are de-mined so that farmers can harvest crops.” On Monday a Russian missile struck a mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where over 1,000 civilians were inside.
“Almost two dozen people were still missing Tuesday one day after a Russian airstrike struck a Ukrainian shopping mall and killed 18 civilians inside…On top of the 18 dead and 21 people missing, Ukrainian Interior Minster Denis Monastyrsky said 59 were injured. Several of the dead were burned beyond recognition” reported the New York Post.
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) June 28, 2022
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