The 49-year-old Sinaloa Cartel member, who is suspected of having killed dozens, goes by the nickname "La Barbie" thanks to his blue eyes. He is listed as "not in BOP custody" on the Bureau of Prisons website. Fox News reports that the BOP has Valdez-Villareal listed as "released," though the site frequently lists those who are being transferred to the custody of another organization as such.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is pressing the US government for answers about where La Barbie is. One reporter asked him about the cartel leader's whereabouts during a press conference.
"It’s very strange what is going on in the United States with Mr. Villareal, who is no longer registered among those in custody, and we want to know where he is," AMLO said to reporters. "There is no reason for him to leave prison because he was condemned to many years unless there was some kind of an agreement."
Veldez-Villareal was sentenced to 49 years in prison in 2015 after being extradited to the United States. He was being kept at a facility in Florida.
The BOP provided a statement to the New York Post on Thursday noting that they do not give information on prisoner transfers.
"We do not provide specific information on the status of inmates who are not in the custody of the BOP for safety, security or privacy reasons," the spokesman told the outlet.
Valdez-Villareal was born in Texas. He became involved in organized crime and began working with various cartels until he joined the Sinaloa cartel under El Chapo. He was taken into custody after a firefight with Mexican police in 2010.
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