Mexican soccer star Rafael Marquez accused of aiding drug trafficker – Los Angeles Times

Two Mexican celebrities — a soccer star and a norteño band leader — have been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for alleged ties to a drug trafficker.

Soccer legend Rafael Marquez and singer Julio Cesar Alvarez Montelongo are among nearly two dozen people accused Wednesday of aiding alleged drug kingpin Raul Flores Hernandez.

Marquez, a former Barcelona and New York Red Bulls star who now plays for the Guadalajara club Atlas, is Mexican sports royalty. A skilled center back and defensive midfielder, he’s widely known as just “Rafa” and has been captain of Mexico’s team at each of the last four World Cups. He had hoped to become the first player in history to captain a national team at a fifth World Cup.

Alvarez, known onstage as Julion Alvarez, is a Latin Grammy-nominated singer who was once praised by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto as “a great example for Mexican youth.”