Juan Carlos Valencia Juan Carlos Valencia is wanted on drug charges.

US announces $5-million reward for high-level CJNG chief

The rewards being offered for senior CJNG members now total $25 million

The United States is offering up to US $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Juan Carlos Valencia González, alias “El Pelón,” an alleged leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

The U.S. State Department called the CJNG “one of the most violent drug trafficking organizations currently operating in Mexico.”

Valencia has been charged with conspiracy and distribution of a controlled substance for unlawful importation into the U.S., as well as the use of a firearm during a narcotics transaction.

The offer follows previous rewards offered this year for other CJNG leaders, including a $10-million reward for Nemesio Rúben “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes, Valencia’s stepfather and leader of the cartel, and $5 million each for Audias “El Jardinero” Flores Silva and cartel co-founder Érick Valencia Salazar.

The rewards are part of a “whole-of-government approach to combating drug trafficking and transnational organized crime globally and specifically against the CJNG in Mexico,” the U.S. State Department said.

The U.S. efforts have, in particular, targeted the family in charge of the cartel. Valencia’s mother, Rosalinda González Valencia, was arrested in November. “La Jefa” is a leader of the cartel’s financial branch and is married to “El Mencho.”

Other recent government efforts have included the extradition of key operatives from Mexico and the freezing of CJNG accounts. Legal proceedings against 600 CJNG members are currently active.

The CJNG even got a mention in an October high level security dialogue between Mexico and the U.S., when the White House said the Jalisco cartel was responsible “for trafficking a significant portion of fentanyl and other deadly drugs that enter the United States.”

With reports from Milenio and Aristegui Noticias

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