Whereabouts of Édgar Valdez Villarreal, AKA ‘La Barbie,’ revealed: housed in a high-security prison in Sumter County in Florida

Mexican drug trafficker 'La Barbie' is serving a 49-year sentence in a high-security prison in Sumter County, Florida until 2056, after being extradited to the US in 2015.

After the whereabouts of Mexican drug trafficker Edgar Valdez Villarreal, “La Barbie,” had been under wraps, his name reappeared in the US Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) registry.

According to the BOP website, “La Barbie,” one of the most powerful members of the Sinaloa and Beltrán Leyva cartels, is being held in a high-security prison in Sumter County, Florida, United States.

The U.S. agency also details that inmate 05658-748, 49 years old, will remain in jail until July 27, 2056.

BOP shows La Barbie still registered as an inmate.
BOP shows that La Barbie is still registered as an inmate.

On December 7, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard stated that drug trafficker Édgar Valdez Villarreal was still in the custody of the US Bureau of Prisons. Still, he did not know where he was being held.

“About La Barbie, I still do not have confirmation that he has been released. That is, he is still in custody. But we have not been given details that he is still in custody. We were told by the U.S. Embassy today that he is still in custody,” Ebrard said.

Ebrard gave the details after different media reported that “La Barbie” no longer appeared in the records of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons.

“La Barbie” was extradited to the United States on September 30, 2015, and by 2018 he was given a 49-year sentence after pleading guilty to trafficking cocaine to that country.

Who is ‘La Barbie’?

Edgar Valdez was born in Laredo, Texas, on the Mexican border. His father owned a bar and nightclub and lived in a middle-class subdivision populated by border patrol agents, police, and firefighters.

As a teenager, he became a street drug dealer. At the same time, a linebacker on the Laredo United High School soccer team rose to become a member of the Beltran Leyva Cartel during a time when the gang’s leaders were associated with Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel.

He led a life of affluence, wearing fancy suits and owning homes in the most expensive parts of Mexico City. But his luxurious life was threatened when the Navy killed their leader, Arturo Beltran Leyva, during a gun battle in Cuernavaca in December 2009.

Valdez and Beltran Leyva’s brother Hector began a bloody battle to take control, with dismembered and decapitated bodies left in the streets, often hanging from bridges in Cuernavaca and Acapulco, along with threatening messages.

US-trained Mexican Federal Police arrested Valdez and four others at a vacation home outside Mexico City in August 2010. At the time, then-President of Mexico Felipe Calderon called Valdez “one of the most wanted criminals in Mexico and abroad.”