This story was first published by The Dark Wire Investigation Foundation
Senator Tom Cotton, R-AR, introduced the Significant Transnational Criminal Organization Designation Act Tuesday to impose sanctions on drug cartels.
He is joined by Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, Josh Hawley, R-MO, and Ben Sasse, R-NE. Representative Mike Gallagher, R-WI, introduced companion legislation in the House as well.
“Criminal organizations and drug cartels that terrorize our communities and wage war at our borders ought to be treated just like terrorist groups in the eyes of the U.S. government. This bill would help stop cartel violence by ensuring these groups-and anyone who helps them-face dire consequences for their actions,” said Cotton in Tuesday’s press release.
If passed, the bill would allow the U.S. government to impose immigration, financial, and criminal penalties on transnational criminal organizations. Moreover, it seeks similar actions as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation would such as keeping cartel members and their immediate families from entering the U.S.
“Mexican cartels wreak havoc on our border and pose a direct threat to our national security. It’s past time we give the federal government every tool it needs to go after these thugs. From crippling sanctions to visa restrictions, this bill equips the administration to ensure these criminal organizations face severe consequences for their illicit activities,” said Gallagher.
In 2018, The Dark Wire produced “Not in Vein,” a film highlighting the deadly costs of the drug cartels’ trafficking of narcotics into the U.S. Click here to watch the full documentary.
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Former FBI official investigating Trump indicted on charges of working for Russian Oligarch he was investigating
The former FBI official involved in the investigation into the made up Trump-Russia collusion has been charged with…wait for it…Russia collusion. Former FBI official Charles McGonigal was charged with “violating sanctions and collaborating with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.”
The Department of Justice made the announcement Monday. “Charles McGonigal, a former high-level FBI official, and Sergey Shestakov, a Court interpreter, violated U.S. sanctions by agreeing to provide services to Oleg Deripaska, a sanctioned Russian oligarch” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams wrote in the released statement.
“Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska perform global malign influence on behalf of the Kremlin and are associated with acts of bribery, extortion, and violence,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael Driscoll noted in a statement. “There are no exceptions for anyone, including a former FBI official like Mr. McGonigal.”
According to federal prosecutors, McGonigal received “concealed payments” from a Russian intelligence officer in exchange for his help in having sanctions targeting Deripaska lifted. “McGonigal is being charged by the Federal District in Manhattan with additional counts relating to money laundering and conspiracy” reports National Review.
Both McGonigal and Shestakov had “previously worked with Deripaska to attempt to have his sanctions removed, and, as public servants, they should have known better,” Williams’ statement added.
McGonigal’s legal team announced their plans to enter a plea of not guilty before a federal court appearance. Seth DuCharme, head of McGonigal’s legal team old the New York Times “Charlie served the United States capably, effectively, for decades.”
“We have closely reviewed the accusations made by the government and we look forward to receiving discovery so we can get a view on what the evidence is upon which the government intends to rely” DuCharme added.
McGonigal was arrested at JFK Airport in New York City on Saturday upon returning from recent travels to Sri Lanka.
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