F. Brinley Bruton, NBC News, October 1, 2015
Texas-born alleged drug lord Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez was extradited to the United States from Mexico, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.
Valdez, who earned his nickname due to his fair complexion, was among 13 defendants wanted for a variety of violent crimes and drug trafficking-related offenses to be handed over to U.S. Marshals late Wednesday, according to the Justice Department.
He headed the Beltran Leyva cartel until being arrested in August 2010, according to Mexican and U.S. officials.
The 13 defendants were wanted on an array of charges, including the murders of a U.S. Consulate employee, other violent crimes and drug-trafficking related crimes, according to a Justice Department statement.
Valdez and another defendant, Carlos Montemayor, are charged in the Northern District of Georgia with conspiring to important distribute cocaine and launder money on June 11, 2010, in Georgia. Valdez also faces narcotics-related charges in Louisiana.
According to Reuters, Valdez grew up selling marijuana in the United States and developed a taste for luxury cars, nightclubs and designer clothes.
Mexican officials also extradited Jorge Costilla, known as “El Coss,” a longstanding leader of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel, who was captured by the Mexican Navy in September 2012.