MEXICO CITY -- The U.S. government is accusing three residents of Belize of helping Mexico's powerful Sinaloa cartel smuggle drugs north from Colombia.

The Treasury Department has designated John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion Zabaneh and their associate Daniel Moreno of using five Belize-based businesses to support the cartel's activities. The three men and five companies were designated as drug smugglers under the Kingpin Act, which bars U.S. citizens from doing business with them, and allows the U.S. government to freeze their assets.

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    FILE - In this June 24, 2010 file photo, DEA agents bring Jamaican gang leader Christopher "Dudus" Coke From Westchester County Airport to a waiting vehicle in White Plains, New York. Coke, who pleaded guilty to U.S. charges of drug and gun trafficking, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison Friday, June 8, 2012 in federal court in Manhattan. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano, File)

  • Elodia Leon Vega holds up photos of her sons during a news conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, Friday, June 22, 2012. Vega says her son, who was arrested a day earlier and identified by authorities as Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, allegedly the son of Mexico's most-wanted drug kingpin, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, is not whom authorities claim he is and that his real name is Felix Beltran Leon, a 23-year-old father of a toddler who works with his mother-in-law at a used car dealership. (AP Photo / Bruno Gonzalez)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2010 file photo released by Mexico's Navy, Navy marines arrest alleged drug kingpin Sergio Villarreal Barragan, alias "El Grande," in Puebla, Mexico. Villarreal, allegedly one of the top members of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel, was extradited to the U.S. on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, where he will face charges of conspiracy, drug trafficking and money laundering in federal court in Texas, according to Mexico's Attorney General's Office. (AP Photo/Mexican Navy, File)

  • CHINA OUT Accomplices of alleged drug k

    GUANGZHOU, CHINA: CHINA OUT Accomplices of alleged drug kingpin Chen Bingxi (unseen), including Liu Zhaohua (C), arrive for their trial at Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court, in Guangzhou, 23 March 2005. Alleged drug kingpin Bingxi was charged with manufacturing more than 12 tons of methamphetamine worth an estimated 5.5 billion dollars, state media reported, accusing Chen Bingxi, 49, of producing 12.36 tons of the drug, also known as 'ice', from January to October 1999. AFP PHOTO (CHINA OUT) (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A document of Thailand's police shows a

    BANGKOK, THAILAND: A document of Thailand's police shows a picture of 'Drug kingpin' Wei Hsueh Kang, who has a two-million-dollar bounty on his head, displayed during press conference at the Police Bureau in Bangkok, 25 January 2005. Eight druglords in Myanmar were charged in absentia in a US court 24 January 2004 with operating one of the world's largest heroin producing and trafficking groups in Southeast Asia's notorious Golden Triangle area. AFP PHOTO/Pornchai KITTIWONGSAKUL (Photo credit should read PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Osiel Cardenas-Guillen

    FILE - In a Friday, Feb. 9, 2007 file photo, accused Mexican drug kingpin Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, 39, leaves the federal courthouse in Houston after pleading not guilty to charges connected to running a cartel that at its height smuggled four to six tons of cocaine per month into the country. A U.S. law enforcement official said Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 that Rafael Cardenas Vela, who was arrested recently on federal drug and immigration charges in Texas, is believed to be the nephew of Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, the former boss of Mexico's Gulf Cartel, and was a rising player in the drug trafficking network. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

  • Drugs Kingpin Appears In Court On Extradition Warrant

    JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 9: Accused Israeli underworld kingpin Zeev Rosenstein (center) is brought into court for a remand hearing November 9, 2004 in Jerusalem, as he faces extradition to the United States. Israeli police arrested Rosenstein a day earlier on an international warrant for smuggling drugs from the European Union to the United States and said that is believed to be a dominant force on the world ecstasy market. (Photo by Getty Images)

  • This 10 September 2001 artist's drawing shows Fede

    MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 10: This 10 September 2001 artist's drawing shows Federal Magistrate Barry L. Garber (L), Medellin, Colombia, then alleged drug cartel kingpin Fabio Ochoa (R) and his attorney Jose Quinon (C) during Ochoa's federal arraignment at the Federal Courthouse in Miami, Florida. A Miami court 26 August 2003 sentenced Colombian Ochoa to 30 years in prison after a jury in May found the former Medellin drug cartel kingpin guilty of involvement in a major cocaine smuggling ring. (Photo credit should read SHIRLEY HENDERSON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Brazilian drug kingpin Luiz Fernando da Costa is e

    MARANDUA DE BICHADA, COLOMBIA: Brazilian drug kingpin Luiz Fernando da Costa is escorted by Colombian army soldiers 22 April 2001, at the Marandua de Bichada military base at the border with Brazil. Fernandino, 34, was captured 21 April an the Brazilian government is moving to request his extradition. Da Costa, also known as 'Fernandinho Beira Mar,' denied accusations he had ties with Colombia's guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Da Costa, considered Brazil's most illustrious drug lord, is believed to lead a drug cartel that supplies arms to the Marxist FARC rebels and exports the cocaine they produce, which feeds some 90 percent of the world's need for the narcotic. AFP PHOTO/Rodrigo ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela(C),believed to be the ki

    BOGOTA, COLOMBIA: Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela(C),believed to be the kingpin of the Cali drug cartel second man,is shown to the press in Bogota,Colombia, 06 August. Rodriguez was arrested earlier 06 August at a residence in Cali during a raid by combined army and police anti-drug team. AFP PHOT0 (Photo credit should read PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Colombia: This photo taken 10 Aug at the Enviagado

    BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - AUGUST 13: Colombia: This photo taken 10 Aug at the Enviagado Prison shows Colombian drug kingpin and head of the Medellin Cartel,Pablo Escobar,posing as Pancho Villa. The original photo hangs in one of the rooms in the prison where Escobar was incarcerated. Escobar and nine of his associates escaped from the prison 22 July after 13 months of detention. (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO TAPIA/AFP/Getty Images)