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"La Barbie" Captured; Mexico Says Alleged Drug Lord Nabbed

"La Barbie" Captured; Mexico Says Alleged Drug Lord Nabbed
Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias "La Barbie" (AP Photo)

MEXICO CITY (CBS/AP) On Monday, federal police in Mexico captured Edgar Valdez Villarreal - or "La Barbie" -  a Texas-born alleged drug kingpin, according to Mexico officials.

Villareal faces drug 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 announcement came just hours after the government said nearly 10 percent of the federal police force has been fired this year as part of a campaign to root out corruption.

The arrest of Villarreal was the culmination of a yearlong intelligence operation, the Public Safety Department said in a statement.

President Felipe Calderon also announced the capture on Twitter, calling Valdez "one of the most-wanted criminals in Mexico and abroad." Calderon said operations to bring down this trafficking gang will continue.

The department said Valdez was captured in the state of Mexico, which borders the capital of Mexico City. The statement offered no other details, but included a photograph of Valdez sporting stubble as he kneels on the ground, a police officer's hand on his shoulder.

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.

There was no word from Mexican authorities on any extradition plans.