Mexican Cartel Leader Edgar Valdez-Villareal Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Trafficking
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that EDGAR VALDEZ-VILLAREAL, a/k/a “La Barbie,” a United States Citizen who rose to be a high-level leader of Mexico’s Beltran-Leyva Cartel, has pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute and distribution of cocaine in the Eastern District of Louisiana during 2001. VALDEZ-VILLAREAL pled guilty today in the Northern District of Georgia to the Eastern District of Louisiana charges pursuant to Rule 20 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. VALDEZ-VILLAREAL is in federal custody since his extradition to the United States from Mexico.
VALDEZ-VILLAREAL’s guilty plea to the Eastern District of Louisiana resulted from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration where VALDEZ-VILLAREAL arranged and supervised the transportation of approximately 33 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride to New Orleans from Mexico in 2001. Two other individuals, CESAR PENA-GIRON and GABRIEL BENAVIDEZ were indicted and pled guilty in 2002 in connection with this investigation and seizure of the 33 kilograms of cocaine.
VALDEZ-VILLAREAL faces a minimum term of ten years imprisonment and a maximum term of life imprisonment, followed by at least five years supervised release, and a maximum fine of $10,000,000. There is also a mandatory $100.00 special assessment for each count associated with this guilty plea.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration for their work investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney William J. Quinlan, Jr. is in charge of the prosecution.