2 alleged drug cartel leaders charged in Atlanta extradited to U.S.

Two men charged in Atlanta with importing drugs and money laundering were among 13 defendants extradited from Mexico to the United States on Wednesday.

Edgar Valdez-Villarreal and Carlos Montemayor Gonzalez, arrested in Mexico in 2010, are alleged to be high-level members of Mexico’s Beltran-Leyva Cartel. They were indicted in the Northern District of Georgia in June 2010.

Federal authorities said Valdez-Villarreal ran an operation that brought truckloads of cocaine to Atlanta and sent millions in cash back to the cartel.

“Valdez and Montemayor are charged with leading the efforts for a top Mexican cocaine cartel with sending drugs into the United States while funneling million of dollars in cash back into Mexico,” U.S. Attorney John Horn said.

Horn noted “Atlanta’s status as a distribution hub for the Mexican cartels.”

Valdez-Villarreal was dubbed "The Barbie" because of his looks that some said were similar to that of a Ken doll.

He’s considered unusual in that he is an upper middle class American from Laredo, Texas, where he was a high school football star and rose through the ranks of a cartel.

Valdez-Villarreal and the other defendants in separate cases were placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals on Wednesday and will appear in various district courts.

“Today’s extraditions would not have been possible without the close collaboration and productive relationship the Department of Justice enjoys with officials at the highest levels of law enforcement in Mexico,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a news release.