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American-born drug lord “La Barbie” sentenced to 49 years in prison

June 12, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
American-born drug lord “La Barbie” sentenced to 49 years in prison

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A U.S. federal district court judge Monday ordered American-born drug lord Edgar Valdez Villareal better known as “La Barbie” to serve decades in prison for importing muti-ton quantities of cocaine into the United States.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung J. Pak said Villarreal was sentenced to 49 years in prison and required to forfeit of $192 million.

According to a Justice Department press release, the 44-year-old Texas-born kingpin is responsible for initiating a brutal turf war with the ruthless Los Zetas Cartel for control of the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo border crossing.

“La Barbie” grew up in Laredo, Texas before fleeing the U.S. to Mexico to evade charges of marijuana distribution.

Valdez, who started out as a cartel enforcer, eventually climbed the ranks to become a top lieutenant within the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) under the leadership of late Mexican drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva.

La Barbie: An American Druglord Comes Home

Valdez reportedly headed his own BLO faction which was responsible for trafficking 400 pounds of cocaine per month into Tennessee and Louisiana.

In 2003, “La Barbie” backed by the Beltran-Leyva Organization, which at the time was allied with the Sinaloa Cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, led 300 hitmen in a failed attempt to take control of border city of Nuevo Laredo from the Gulf Cartel’s paramilitary enforcer group known as the Zetas.

Authorities in Mexico arrested Valdez in August 2010 and he was eventually extradited to the U.S. in 2015 where he would plead guilty to various counts of drug trafficking and money laundering.

U.S. District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr in Georgia handed down the sentence of 589 months as part of that guilty plea.

“Edgar Valdez-Villareal a/k/a “La Barbie” was once a powerful and high-ranking member of the Mexico-based Sinaloa and Arturo Beltran-Leyva Drug Cartels,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division.

“Valdez-Villareal engaged in two decades of drug trafficking crimes and reigned with immeasurable acts of violence and intimidation. His ruthless and violent drug trafficking activities posed a significant threat to the quality of life in our country and elsewhere, Murphy added. “The lengthy sentence he received makes the U.S. a safer place. DEA wants to thank its local, state, federal, regional, national and foreign (especially the government of Mexico) law enforcement partners, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia for making this extraordinary case a success.”

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