World

Mexican soccer player among 22 sanctioned for drug ties

The United States Treasury Department says legendary Mexican soccer player Rafael Marquez Alvarez and a well-known norteno band leader are among 22 people sanctioned for alleged ties to a drug trafficking organization.

The Treasury says in a statement that it will also sanction 43 entities in Mexico, including a soccer team and casino.

Treasury said Wednesday that the sanctions are the result of a multi-year investigation of the drug trafficking organization allegedly headed by Raul Flores Hernandez.

The department says it is the single largest such designation of a drug trafficking organization ever by its Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Marquez is a former Barcelona and New York Red Bulls star who currently plays for the Mexican soccer club Atlas in Guadalajara and is captain of the Mexican national team.