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US Freezes Colombian Drug Cartel Leaders' Assets - 2004-10-15

The U.S. Treasury Department has blacklisted two leaders of Colombia's Norte Valle drug cartel, freezing their U.S. assets and barring them from doing business in the United States.

The Treasury Department said in a statement Thursday that Gabriel Puerta-Parra and Luis Antonio Hernandez Zea would be added to a list of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers.

Also blacklisted were 15 businesses suspected of being front companies linked to the two men, including the Colombian airline Intercontinental de Aviacion. Fourteen suspected agents for the drug kingpins were placed on the list as well.

Gabriel Puerta-Parra was arrested last week by Colombian police, and awaits extradition to the United States.