Welcome home, BarbieNov 21st, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime
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THE BORDER REPORT
No les digo, pues?
Mexico has begun the process to extradite Edgar La Barbie Valdez Villarreal to the U.S. to stand trial. In September, when I first wrote about this, I spent a few days looking over his indictments in U.S. District Court. Based on that, and then an interview with an attorney familiar with his case, it was determined that Barbie Valdez would not stand trial for murder in Mexico but instead face drug-trafficking charges in the U.S. You can see that story, here.
In short, court documents showed that on an August afternoon in 2005, Jesus Ramos, a truckdriver, was driving south to Atlanta and called Romero Roel Martinez, the Sinaloa Federation’s cocaine distributor for that region. Ramos told him he would meet Martinez and run a load of cash proceeds down to Texas.
The next day, Aug. 17, Ramos called to arrange a meeting in the parking lot of a closed warehouse in Atlanta. At 7:30 p.m., he pulled his semi-truck in and met with two men, Joe Lopez and Luis Trevino, who arrived in a white Nissan Maxima.
Trevino and Ramos loaded three Navy duffel bags stuffed with $2,533,635 into the cab of Ramos’ truck. Trevino and Lopez drove off and Ramos pulled away. On Aug. 18, the Georgia State Patrol stopped Ramos’ truck on I-85 south of Atlanta and seized the cash. Ramos initially denied knowing anything about the bags of money.
On June 11, a U.S. federal judge unsealed an indictment against Edgar La Barbie Valdez Villareal and five other men.
According to the Feds: they gathered evidence during a January 2008 wiretap-based trial fingering La Barbie as the source of tons cocaine imported into Atlanta from 2004 to 2006. Evidence at the trial, the Feds say, demonstrated La Barbie’s people were moving about 200 pounds of coke a week during the summer and fall of 2005. All that, they said, came up by semi-truck to Atlanta after crossing through Laredo, Texas. Still more trucks were used to run millions in cash back to Mexico.
And then, on June 18, a week after the U.S. put the heat on La Barbie, Ramos signed the plea agreement in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, admitting to the initial allegations. A copy of his plea agreement shows he agreed to cooperate.
Shortly after Barbie’s arrest, a lawyer with a heavy investment in Mexico’s organized crime syndicates reported Barbie had turned himself in, in exchange for avoiding murder charges in Mexico and doing easier time in the U.S. on this cocaine charge.
La Barbie waged war on the Sinaloa Cartel’s behalf in Nuevo Laredo since late 2004. He flipped with Arturo Beltrán shortly after Mochomo went down in January 2008. The wars continued, even after Arturo’s hit in December 2009. How many deaths was Barbie responsible for in Mexico? Few hundred? Few thousand? No tengo la menor petunia idea, but plenty. And he turns himself in. Worse, the governments of both countries are going to let it happen.
That’s the business.