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Prison or Freedom: US Judge to Decide on Friday Fate of El Mencho's Daughter

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“Anonymous” and “MX” for Borderland Beat

Above is Jessica Johanna Oseguera Cervantes. The other picture that has been circulating online for a few years is not her. That individual is Jennifer Beaney Camacho Cázares, wife of imprisoned kingpin Abigael Gonzalez Valencia. Both are sanctioned under the Kingpin Act.
The daughter of Mexican cartel drug lord Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes (“El Mencho”) is asking a U.S. judge to free her Friday, while prosecutors push for prison time and up to a $5 million fine. 

Jessica Johanna Oseguera González, known as “La Negra,” pleaded guilty in March to violating the Kingpin Act for her association with businesses blacklisted by the United States.

But her attorney, Steven J. McCool, argued in court motions that Oseguera González, 34, is the victim of “vindictive prosecution,” citing the rarity of the charges against her.

Oseguera Gonzalez has spent more than 15 months in jail, and her attorney filed a 100-page motion urging the judge to sentence her to time served, which he said is already a “severe” punishment.

More than 2,000 individuals and entities have been targeted through the Kingpin Act during the past two decades for their roles in international narcotics trafficking, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. This often resulted in civil penalties, including freezing assets and levying significant fines, eventually crippling businesses. However, criminal charges and prison stints related to the Kingpin Act are much more rare.

In the first known case, prosecutors targeted the head of an airline in Peru and his wife for allegedly trafficking tons of cocaine in 2009. In a case resolved this year, agents used the law against a Florida pilot who provided private charter service to Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro Moros’ inner circle in support of Maduro’s corrupt but successful May 2018 re-election campaign.

Oseguera Gonzalez‘s crimes are much less severe, and her attorney claims she’s being targeted because of her father.

According to court documents, Oseguera Gonzalez violated the criminal penalties of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (the Kingpin Act) by engaging in property transactions with six Mexican businesses that Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) previously designated to be “specially designated narcotics traffickers.”

These six businesses were so designated because they provided material support to the Mexican drug trafficking organization known as the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG), which was itself designated by OFAC in April 2015. El Mencho, and Oseguera Gonzalez’s uncle, Abigael Gonzalez Valencia (“El Cuini”), who ws the leader of the Los Cuinis drug trafficking organization, were also sanctioned by OFAC in April 2015.

As reportedly covered in Borderland Beat, court documents indicate that Oseguera Gonzalez was an owner of two Mexican companies designated by OFAC, J&P Advertising S.A. de C.V., and JJGON S.P.R. de R.L. de C.V., and that she was an officer, director, or agent of four additional sanctioned businesses, Las Flores Cabanas, Mizu Sushi Lounge, Tequila Onze Black, and Operadora Los Famosos S.A. de C.V., doing business as Kenzo Sushi. She remained an owner, officer, director, or agent of those entities following their OFAC designations, and did not seek the required license from OFAC to engage in those financial transactions.

Oseguera Gonzalez pleaded guilty on March 2021 to willfully violating the Kingpin Act’s prohibitions on engaging in transactions or dealings in property with entities or persons sanctioned under the Kingpin Act, and to being an officer, director, or agent of entities who knowingly participated in Kingpin Act violations.

Sources: Courier Journal; Borderland Beat archives


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