(Spanish CNN) – The Mexican-American drug trafficker Édgar Valdez Villarreal, alias “La Barbie”, “is not currently in federal custody” of the United States, confirmed to CNN Benjamin O’Cone, spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons of that country (BoP, for its acronym in English), this Tuesday.
CNN verified this Tuesday that Valdez Villarreal does not appear on the website to find people in BoP custody. When asked why, the spokesperson reported the above and explained that there are “several reasons” why this may occur.
“Inmates who were previously in BoP custody and who have not completed their sentence may be out of BoP custody for a period for court hearings, medical treatment, or for other reasons,” it detailed. And he added that they do not provide specific information on the status of inmates who are not in their custody, for reasons of “security or privacy.”
The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was consulted on the subject during his morning conference this Tuesday. The president stated that he only has information from the press.
López Obrador affirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Citizen Security and Protection is requesting information to find out the whereabouts of Valdez Villarreal.
“If he is not in prison, we have to see what the arrangement was, because his sentence was for several years. Here in the country there are also complaints filed, but since it is still very early, during the day, or tomorrow, he leaves to know everything. And we do not get ahead of ourselves, we are going to wait to see what is happening, “said López Obrador.
On June 11, 2018, Valdez Villarreal was sentenced in the United States to 49 years and one month in federal prison on charges of cocaine trafficking and money laundering. Valdez Villarreal, lieutenant of the Beltrán Leyva drug lord cartel, is accused of trafficking thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States between 2004 and 2006. He was arrested in August 2010. In September 2015 he was extradited to the United States along with several important drug lords of drug trafficking
CNN contacted the United States Department of Justice to learn about the whereabouts of Valdez Villarreal, and awaits a response. He also contacted the lawyer who represented him during the trial in Atlanta, where Wilmer “Buddy” Parker was sentenced, who said he had no knowledge of this possible release, adding that he has no further comment on the subject. CNN has reached out to the Georgia State Attorney’s Office for the Northern District, so far without responding to repeated calls and emails.
Gustavo Valdés contributed to this report.