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US Treasury Sanctions Former Barcelona Defender Rafa Marquez For “Drug Trafficking Ties”

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He is accused of “providing support” to groups with ties to major drug cartels

Iceland v Mexico Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The US Treasury is sanctioning former FC Barcelona defender Rafa Marquez, who currently plays for Atlas in his native Mexico, for “providing support” to a drug trafficking organization. Twenty other people are also accused of supporting the group, which has ties to major cartels.

Marquez is 38 and one of Mexico's best players ever. The Treasury alleges that he, along with a popular Mexican singer named Julion Alvarez, "acted as front persons" for a group led by Raul Flores Hernandez.

Flores Hernandez is alleged to be an independent operator who has been a part of the drug trade since the 1980s, with alleged links to the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels. The Treasury also claims 42 Mexican entities provided support to his organization, including one team: Club Deportivo Morumbi.

Assets held by Marquez and Alvarez in the United States have been frozen, and they, along with 19 others, could face penalties of over one million dollars or even criminal penalties.

Alvarez posted a video to his Facebook saying "absolutely nothing is going on." We await Marquez’s response.