A bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow assets seized from Mexican drug lords, including Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, to be used to secure the southern border.
The Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act would set aside money forfeited to the U.S. government from El Chapo and other convicted drug lords to be used to increased security along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Guzman’s drug empire amassed an estimated $14 billion from narcotic sales responsible for destroying the lives of millions of Americans,” Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), who co-sponsored the bill, said. “As President Trump looks to secure the southern border, Congress should pass this commonsense measure to use seized drug money to staunch the flow of drugs and violence into our communities.”
In February, Guzman Loera, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was found guilty of all 10 federal criminal counts against him, including drug trafficking, operating a continuing criminal enterprise and weapons violations. He is set to be sentenced in June.
The indictment against El Chapo said the United States will seek forfeiture of any property or contractual rights derived from the continuing criminal enterprise, “including but not limited to at least approximately a sum of money equal to $14 billion in United States currency.”
Buchanan is the author of the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act, which prohibits gang members from entering the United States and allows for them to be deported if they are already here.