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Mexican drug cartel leader gets 50 years, ordered to give up $192 million

| Monday, June 11, 2018, 1:18 p.m.
FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2010 file photo, Texas-born fugitive Edgar Valdez Villarreal, also known as 'La Barbie,' center, reacts during his presentation to the media after his arrest in Mexico City. The former Texas high school football player who authorities say rose to the top ranks of a Mexican drug cartel is set for sentencing Monday, June 11, 2018, in Atlanta on drug and money-laundering charges. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2010 file photo, Texas-born fugitive Edgar Valdez Villarreal, also known as 'La Barbie,' center, reacts during his presentation to the media after his arrest in Mexico City. The former Texas high school football player who authorities say rose to the top ranks of a Mexican drug cartel is set for sentencing Monday, June 11, 2018, in Atlanta on drug and money-laundering charges. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini, File)

ATLANTA — A former Texas high school football player who authorities say rose to the top ranks of a Mexican drug cartel has been sentenced to serve nearly 50 years in federal prison on drug and money laundering charges.

Edgar Valdez Villarreal, known as “La Barbie” because of his light eyes and complexion, was sentenced Monday in Atlanta. He was also ordered to forfeit $192 million.

Valdez was accused of bringing trucks full of cocaine from Mexico to the eastern United States and shipping millions of dollars in cash back to Mexico.

He was arrested in Mexico in 2010 and was among 13 people extradited to the U.S. in September 2015 to face charges. He pleaded guilty in January 2016 to conspiring to import and distribute cocaine and conspiring to launder money.

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