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Bush adds 7 to drug kingpin list

From Kelly Wallace and Megan Shattuck
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Friday added seven men to the U.S. list of alleged international drug traffickers. That step is aimed at blocking the suspects' access to the U.S. financial system and preventing them from doing business with U.S. companies or individuals.

"This action underscores our determination to do everything possible to fight drug traffickers, undermine their operations, and end the suffering that trade in illicit drugs inflicts on Americans and people around the world," Scott McClellan, White House deputy press secretary, said in a written statement.

The law also gives the U.S. Treasury Department authority to freeze the assets of those named on the list and their business associates.

Bush took the action under the Kingpin Act which became law in December 1999 and requires the federal government to create a list each year of the world's top suspected drug dealers. Twenty-four individuals already have been added to the list.

The seven newly designated kingpins are:

  • Ismael Zambada Garcia of Mexico -- He is charged with narcotics trafficking, bribery, and violation of the federal law against organized crime. There are two pending warrants for his arrest in Mexico.
  • Eduardo Gonzalez Quirarte of Mexico -- He was indicted by a federal grand jury in 1994 on charges including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute large quantities of cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
  • Mario Ernesto Villanueva Madrid of Mexico -- He was indicted in 2002 for importing more than 200 tons of cocaine into the United States. He is charged with conspiracy to import cocaine and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
  • Luis Fernando Da Costa of Brazil -- He was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2002 on charges including conspiracy to import cocaine and conspiracy to manufacture and distribute cocaine, and intending and knowing that such substance will be unlawfully imported into the U.S. from Colombia.
  • Oded Tuito -- He holds Israeli and French citizenship. He has three federal indictments pending against him. He is also facing narcotics charges in California. Charges against him include conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute ecstasy, cocaine and marijuana.
  • Haji Ibrahim of Pakistan -- He was indicted by a federal grand jury in 1998 on charges including conspiracy to distribute heroin and conspiracy to import heroin into the U.S. from India.
  • Samuel Knowles of the Bahamas -- He was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2000 on charges including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana and importation of cocaine and marijuana.


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