Clockwise from top left, Aureliano Guzman-Loera, Heriberto Salgueiro-Nevarez, Ruperto Salgueiro-Nevarez and Jose Salgueiro-Nevarez. Photo credit: @HSIPhoenix, via Twitter

The U.S. has announced rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the arrest or conviction of four suspected Mexican drug traffickers.

The quartet includes the brother of jailed drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.

Aureliano Guzman Loera – El Chapo’s brother – is accused of operating under the umbrella of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, along with brothers Ruperto Salgueiro Nevarez, Jose Salgueiro Nevarez and Heriberto Salgueiro Nevarez.

The brothers allegedly operate a faction of the cartel known as the SNO – the Salgueiro-Nevarez Organization.

The men are charged in 2019 and 2020 U.S. indictments in Tucson that allege violations of U.S. drug laws, according to a statement by the State Department.

The Department of Justice on Friday accused the men of violating international narcotics trafficking laws, including moving fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin.

Combating fentanyl smuggling has become a key priority for U.S. agencies as overdose deaths spiked to more than 93,000 in 2020. Mostly were linked to fentanyl, according to provisional data by the National Center for Health Statistics.

(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison; editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

Reuters

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