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Mexico is asking US Federal Prisons where is my Criminal Drug Lord ‘La Barbie’

Mexican-American drug trafficker Edgar Valdez-Villareal, alias “La Barbie,” is “not currently in federal custody” in the United States, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has confirmed. Because of his blue eyes and light complexion, a high school football coach reportedly gave Valdez Villareal the nickname “La Barbie.”

On Tuesday, CNN confirmed that Valdez-Villareal’s name appears on the BOP website as “not in BOP custody.” When asked why, bureau spokesperson Benjamin O’Cone declined to elaborate, stating that there are “several reasons” why this could occur.

Inmates who were previously in BOP custody and have not completed their sentence may be out of BOP custody for a period of time for court hearings, medical treatment, or other reasons, O’Cone wrote in an email Tuesday. He also stated that they do not provide information on the specific status of inmates who are not in the custody of Bureau of Prisons for “safety, security, or privacy reasons.”

The Texan rose through the ranks of one of Mexico’s most ruthless drug cartels and was sentenced to 49 years and one month in prison in June 2018 and fined $192,000. In January 2016, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and conspiracy to launder money.

Valdez-Villareal, who was 44 at the time of his sentencing, would likely spend the rest of his life in prison thanks to the 49-year federal prison sentence. If he was still alive at the end of his sentence, he would be sentenced to ten years on probation, according to the Justice Department at the time.

In his daily news conference on Tuesday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated that the only information he had about Valdez-Villareal came from the media. The president stated that both the Foreign Relations and Security Secretariats are requesting information in order to locate the drug trafficker. Wilmer “Buddy” Parker, the lawyer who represented Valdez Villareal during his trial in Atlanta, told CNN he was unaware of any potential release and had no further comment.

Valdez-Villareal trafficked marijuana for two decades before developing a network through which he was regularly shipping between 150 and 180 kilograms of cocaine into multiple US cities, according to then-US Attorney Byung Pak. He began using speedboats to transport cocaine from Colombia and other South American countries into Mexico to the United States after meeting Arturo Beltran Leyva and later Joaquin Guzman-Loera, aka El Chapo.

Prosecutors claim Valdez-Villareal was once El Chapo’s top lieutenant. According to the Justice Department, he began shipping cocaine from Mexico to Atlanta and Memphis on the backs of tractor-trailers in 2004. They said he shipped 1,500 kilograms into Atlanta alone in the first six months of 2005 without ever setting foot in the city.

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