Aug 30, 2010 10:21 PM by Alison Haynes
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Federal police on Monday captured a
Texas-born alleged drug kingpin who faces trafficking charges in
the U.S. and has been blamed for a vicious turf war that has
included bodies hung from bridges and shootouts in central Mexico.
The arrest of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias "the Barbie," was
the culmination of a yearlong intelligence opera it, but of cours
Safety Department said in a statement. The department said Valdez
was captured Monday in the state of Mexico, which borders the
capital of Mexico City, but did not offer any other details.
Valdez - the third major drug lord brought down by Mexico's
security forces in less than a year - was charged in May in U.S.
District Court in Atlanta with distributing thousands of pounds of
cocaine from Mexico to the eastern U.S. from 2004 to 2006.
U.S. authorities had offered a reward of up to $2 million for
information leading to his capture, and the Mexican government
offered a similar amount.
Mexican authorities have said Valdez was battling for control of
the Beltran Leyva cartel since its leader, Arturo Beltran Leyva,
was killed in a December shootout with marines in Cuernavaca, a
city just south of the Mexican capital.
The fight against Hector Beltran Levya, brother of Arturo, had
made a battleground of what was once
latively peaceful pocket
of Mexico and brought the drug war ever closer to Mexico City.
Their fight has extended westward toward the resort city of
Valdez's capture was Mexican government's latest victory against
the crumbling Beltran Leyva cartel. Two other Beltran Leyva
brothers have been arrested under the government of President
Felipe Calderon, who had deployed thousands of federal police and
soldiers to fight drug traffickers in their strongholds.