FLORIDA, US: The highest levels of the Mexican government have reportedly been urging the United States to reveal the whereabouts of a notorious Mexican drug lord and cartel hitman, who mysteriously disappeared from the Florida maximum security prison, where he was serving a 49-year sentence.
Details about Edgar Valdez-Villareal, known by his underworld alias “La Barbie,” had reportedly been removed from the federal Bureau of Prisons website. The drug lord is now listed as “not in BOP custody”, despite having a release date of July 27, 2056. Valdez-Villareal, 49, was captured by Mexican authorities in 2010 and extradited to the United States in 2015. He was sentenced to 49 years and one month in jail in June 2018 after being found guilty of drug trafficking and money laundering.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged the Biden administration on Wednesday, November 30 to explain why ‘Barbie’ is no longer listed as being in custody. “It’s very strange what is going on in the United States with Mr. Villareal, who is no longer registered among those in custody and we want to know where he is,” said President López Obrador in a press conference according to The Post. “There is no reason for him to leave prison because he was condemned to many years unless there was some kind of an agreement. The United States government has to clear it up as soon as possible. We’re going to continue asking them”
Responding to the request made by the Mexican president, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons said, were ‘a number’ of reasons why La Barbie’s name is no longer showing in the database. “There are a number of reasons why an inmate may be listed as ‘not in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons. Inmates who were previously in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons and who have not served their sentence may be out of custody for a period of time to attend court hearings, receive medical treatment, or for other reasons. We do not provide specific information about the status of prisoners who are not in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons for security or privacy reasons.”
Edgar Valdez-Villarreal, better known as “La Barbie” the American-Mexican drug lord, shows up as ‘NOT IN BOP CUSTODY’ on detention databases despite having a release date of 07/27/2056. https://t.co/scEgwU8v0p pic.twitter.com/w9hehlD075
— Borderland Beat (@Borderland_Beat) November 28, 2022
The Mexican-American drug dealer headed up Los Negros, an enforcement group of the Beltran Leyva cartel, which is considered to be one of the most vicious underworld groups in Mexico. At one point, he was even a top lieutenant for the Sinaloa Cartel, run by convicted drug dealer Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman-Loera. He was raised in Laredo, Texas, where his high school football coach gave him his nickname Barbie because of his fair complexion and blue eyes. “We called him Ken Doll, mostly because his hair was blond and kinky like the doll’s,” a friend from United High School told Rolling Stone in 2011. “The coach upped the ante to Barbie, and it took off like wildfire.”
Valdez-Villareal fled to Mexico in the late 1990s after being charged with dealing marijuana in the US, according to NY Post. He reportedly started dealing with marijuana dealers on the streets of Laredo while he was still in high school. In Mexico, he soon built his connections and became a part of the Sinaloa Cartel. Because of his good connection, he was asked by El Chapo to help him bribe Mexican prison employees to get long johns to the cartel leader’s son. When two men accepted the bribe but demanded $500,000 instead of the initial $100,000 payment, La Barbie unmasked them, which resulted in their horrible deaths.
While working for Beltran-Leyva, Villarreal regularly shipped hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into US cities. He also served as a brutal enforcer for the cartel and helped instigate a turf war between rival groups. Following cartel leader Arturo Beltran-Leyva’s death in December 2009, Barbie launched a fatal battle to take over the control of the brutal underworld group. In addition to his own vicious Los Negros hit squad, he recruited members from other gangs, including MS-13, to take down his rivals. He also recruited police officers and members of competing cartels as informants while serving as a commander of Los Negros. Later he started participating in tortures, which he often recorded.
He was ultimately apprehended in 2010, during a firefight with Mexican authorities at a rural home northwest of Mexico City. Barbie was the only American to have ascended to such a high position inside the Mexican cartels at the time of he was apprehended.