In the Courts

US Judge Awards Families Of Drug Cartel Victims Billions — There’s Just One Problem

The Juarez Cartel will have to pay $4.6 billion to the families of nine people it allegedly killed in 2019, according to multiple reports.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Clare Hochhalter in North Dakota ordered the payment of $1.5 billion after the families sued the cartel for allegedly carrying out the killings as retribution for their open criticism of the criminal organization, according to the Bismarck Tribune. The original payment to the family of $1.5 billion will be tripled to $4.6 billion, per the federal Anti-Terrorism Act, according to ABC News.

Maria Rhonita LeBaron and four of her children, ages 12, 10, and eight-month-old twins; Christina Langford and Dawna Langford and her 11 and two-year-olds were driving approximately 90 miles from the U.S. border in Mexico, when they were ambushed and fired upon by alleged cartel members who eventually set their cars on fire, according to the Bismarck Tribune.

“We went into a United States courtroom in North Dakota seeking some acknowledgement of and measure of justice for the trauma inflicted on our family and we received it,” family member David Langford said, according to ABC News.

The Bismarck Tribune didn’t get a response from the cartel, which didn’t have representation at the trial, according to the outlet.

The government has the ability to freeze terrorist organization assets, but it is currently unknown if the department has any cartel assets, ABC News reported.

The Department of Treasury didn’t respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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