One of the world’s most notorious and violent drug kingpins is scheduled to be sentenced Monday by a federal judge in Atlanta.
The American-born Edgar Valdez Villareal was famously called “La Barbie,” a nickname he got at his Texas high school because of his blond hair and green eyes. As a kingpin, Valdez was well known for his flashy lifestyle – on one of his ranches, he had a small zoo with a lion – and the brutality of his operations.
In a sentencing memorandum, federal prosecutors called Valdez “a drug trafficker of the highest magnitude.” Calling it a “conservative estimate,” prosecutors said Valdez was responsible for distributing at least 12,000 kilograms of cocaine into the U.S., with large quantities moving through Atlanta.
He pleaded guilty in 2016 to three criminal conspiracy counts for distributing and importing cocaine and then laundering the proceeds.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said it will ask U.S. District Judge Bill Duffey to sentence the 44-year-old Valdez to 55 years in federal prison and to order him to forfeit $192 million – the estimated proceeds of his drug operation.
Edgar Valdez Villarreal, also known as “La Barbie,” will be sentenced Monday in Atlanta. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Prosecutors said they will give Valdez credit for the 8 years of time he’s already served since his arrest in Mexico in 2010 when he was one of the world’s most wanted men. Valdez’s criminal activity warrants a life sentence, the Justice Department said. But it said it is not asking for one because his guilty plea saved a tremendous amount of court time and government resources.
The memorandum also referred to a separate, “sealed” court filing as to why a sentence of less than life in prison is warranted, an indication Valdez is cooperating with federal authorities.
So there is a chance, the memorandum said, that Valdez “will walk out of incarceration one day when he is no longer able to harm others.”
The prosecution’s filing, detailing Valdez’s brazenly brutal ways, his orchestration of massive corruption within the Mexican government and the lengths he took to carry out his drug operation, is chilling. It says Valdez began from humble roots in Laredo, Texas, and worked his way up to be a top-level enforcer and trafficker for two large drug cartels.
“As the amount of cocaine trafficked by Valdez is staggering, the brutality of his operations is disquieting,” prosecutors said.
To cultivate his ruthless reputation, Valdez ordered a video be taken of the execution of a man from a rival drug gang who’d been dispatched to assassinate Valdez but was captured by his security team. Valdez arranged for copies of the video, showing the man being killed by a gunshot to the head, to be sent to media outlets, even to U.S. law enforcement.
Valdez had a security detail of 20 to 30 men, many with prior law enforcement experience. His drug operation received shipments of guns, including AK-47s, AR-15s, M-16s with grenade launchers, night vision equipment, 50-caliber rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. He had his own gunsmith who converted semiautomatic rifles into fully automatic, prosecutors said.
The smuggling of tons of cocaine into the U.S. caused the destruction of untold numbers of families and destabilized countries throughout the region, the prosecution’s filing said.
“Its social costs have been enormous,” the memo said. “And for years Valdez was responsible for a significant portion of that poison.”
I am sure his American born children are freaking out about the forfeiture. His eldest son is always on social media showing his high-end car collection in Sonora. I am honestly surprised that criminals are not smart enough to go after his kids.
i would say less then 20years if he is cooperating. He has a lot of nails for the coffin of el senor.
Its strange that his Kids are not touched by the competitors la barbie. Maybe he has still some influence.
Even if its almost 8 years ago.
no...it is most likely so defense can't use it in court to say he was facing life without parole and look what he was sentenced to for testifying against my client. also to prove what a bad guy he was etc etc
BTW wasn't the sentencing document great? I have never seen such detail in a sentencing memo
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
@Chivis the sentencing document was a magnificent history of La Barbie that gave insight into his criminal career. I think that if they objective in sealing his sentence was to prevent Chapo's defense in discrediteing him, the sentencing document already gives the defense all the ammo it needs.
Looks like his term was announced to reporters in the court room.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, otherwise known as "La Barbie" (all times local):
A former Texas high school football player who authorities say rose to the top ranks of a Mexican drug cartel has been sentenced to serve nearly 50 years in federal prison on drug and money laundering charges.
Edgar Valdez Villarreal, known as "La Barbie" because of his light eyes and complexion, was sentenced Monday in Atlanta. He was also ordered to forfeit $192 million.
Chivis why Mike Z-40 has not been extradited??
Not sure if you knew this but Mike z-40 and la Barbie hated each other both from Laredo and if I remember correctly
Z-40 killed a brother of la Barbie big time rivalry between this two guys.
1) He will get his sentence reduced to 300 months or so, based on his testimony & cooperation, this will happen retroactively from his sentencing, as it did with Javier Francisco Arellano
2) He pleaded without an agreement in place, and because his information was outdated, and his testimony or the value of said testimony can be found in other witnesses, he takes the whole 55 years, minus a time served reduction, and acceptance of responsibility.
His story really is fascinating, I have no faith a Hollywood disaster of a Michael Bay production will do his story justice, but a movie in the right hands could be incredible.
The 192 million is absurd, those AUSA's were taking no chances on that one....That's not even rounding up!
The extradition processes from Mexico to the US is very political. Look how Chapo was delivered on the innaguartion of Trump (or departure of Obama if you see it that way). With NAFTA negotations looking unsatisfactory from both sides and a new "friend of the narcos" president about to be elected in Mexico, anything is possible (or unlikely).
I forget the name of Barbie's "brother" who was killed by the Z's, but it was not a relative. The guy was a partner in narco crime with Edgar that he called his brother (as referenced to in the infamous Acapulco video).
Also, they left out any information that Barbie turned on Arturo in the filing, and was responsible for calling in the info, that led the Navy to his house that night. That rumor has long been "confirmed", but I guess there will be further confirmation from the US.
That 192 million is long gone and untraceable at this point. Barbie may have been ruthless, but he is much smarter than people give him credit for. I would imagine he setup his family in ways that can not be touched. He had been in contacts with US attorneys way in advance before his capture and remember his brother had tried to arrange a surrender in the US (similar to ML).
This "brother" was Armando Valdez Villarreal, however I dunno if the last name has been tabloidified in the press. He was supposedly picked up by Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales in early 2005 on orders of Mario Alberto Flores Soto AKA L2.