CrimeEditors’ pick

How ‘La Barbie’ turned the top-ranking chief of a Mexican drug cartel

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat republished from LMT on-line 
Valdez’ dwelling,  teen years in Laredo
Mexican drug cartel
chief  Edgar Valdez Villarreal, in any other case often known as “La Barbie,” was
sentenced in Atlanta on Monday to serve almost 5 many years in jail for his
violent drug-related crimes.
Throughout Valdez’s reign
in Mexico, the cartel chief left a monitor of dismembered and decapitated our bodies
within the streets, hanged corpses from bridges and different crimes. However for this
native Laredoan, Villarreal’s upbringing was removed from violent – on the
opposite, it was described as homely.

Carla Valdez, a
prosecutor in Texas and one in every of Valdez’s six sisters, instructed U.S. District Decide
William Duffey on Monday that she and her siblings had been raised by humble,
hardworking dad and mom who taught them robust values and morals.

Valdez, whom Duffey
described as a “severely evil legal,” was as soon as simply a median
Texas teenager, who performed soccer at United Excessive Faculty. Because the Longhorn’s
linebacker, prosecutors stated it was throughout this time that Valdez started promoting
marijuana.

However issues escalated as
Valdez turned concerned with the Beltran Leyva cartel, whose leaders had been
related to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel at
the time. Valdez would ultimately develop into the chief of the Beltran Leyva
cartel, following the demise of its chief, Arturo Beltran Leyva, in 2009.
Earlier than his arrest by
Mexican federal police in 2010, Valdez loved a flashy, cartel way of life.
Valdez wore good fits and owned luxurious properties, together with a ranch with a zoo
that housed a lion, prosecutor Elizabeth Hathaway stated in court docket.
His picture was one in every of
intimidation and attract. Within the years that he ran the drug gang, Valdez turned
a legend of types in Laredo – even inspiring a film to be made based mostly on his
life.
In an interview by the
Houston Chronicle in 2010, the Laredo Police Division tried to make sense
of a person who acquired his begin promoting dime baggage of marijuana to main a crew of
assassins.
“There may be loads of
hypothesis as to what relationships he had and what relationships led as much as
the place he’s now,” stated Investigator Jose E. Baeza, Laredo Police
Division spokesman. “He was capable of do sufficient to achieve the belief.”
Even Valdez’s personal
household remains to be striving for solutions to know his violent cartel ties. On
Monday, Duffey stated he struggled to grasp how Valdez acquired so off monitor
regardless of his robust household background.
“Why are you a
prosecutor and why is your brother a severely evil legal?” Duffey
requested Carla Valdez.
That is a query her
household asks daily, she stated.
Regardless of their household
member’s ruthless crimes, Valdez’s dad and mom, siblings, nieces and nephews packed
the courtroom in assist of their cherished one. Throughout his sentencing listening to, his
siblings pleaded with the decide for leniency.
However Duffey wasn’t
swayed.
Valdez was handed a
sentence of 49 years and one month for crimes during which Duffey known as
despicable and a betrayal to his household and his nation. Along with time
served, Valdez was additionally ordered to forfeit $192 million.
Valdez instructed the decide
he accepted accountability for his wrongdoing and apologized to his household.
“I am not a nasty
particular person,” Valdez stated. “I’m one that has made unhealthy
selections.”
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