Mexico’s Marquez linked to drug trafficking ring

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In terms of bombshell stories, this is one for the ages.

Atlas defender and Mexican soccer legend Rafa Marquez is one of 22 people sanctioned by the United States Treasury as part of a drug trafficking ring.

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The former Barcelona, New York Red Bulls, and Monaco defender is linked to Raul Flores Hernandez, who himself “has links to two major Mexican drug cartels” according to Bloomberg.

U.S. officials allege that Marquez and Mexican singer Julion Alvarez have longstanding relationships with Flores Hernandez and provided fronts for him and his drug organization.

Serious business, to be sure. The sanctions mean frozen American assets for Marquez and the others, and certainly could just be the tip of a disciplinary iceberg.

Marquez is Juan Carlos Osorio’s captain with the Mexican national team, and has 143 caps. Surely there’s plenty to come in this eyebrow-raising news story.