United States offers $1 million reward for the arrest of Mexican cartel leader

US offers $1 million reward for the arrest of Mexican cartel leader who ‘ordered the 2013 murder of a lawyer turned informant in Texas’

  • U.S. authorities have been searching for Jose Rodolfo Villarreal, a top ranking leader of the Beltran-Leyva Organization Drug Cartel
  • Villarreal is on the FBI’s most wanted list and a $1 million reward has been offered for his arrest and/or conviction 
  • Villarreal allegedly has shipped cocaine and marijuana from Mexico to the United States
  • The 42-year-old allegedly arranged the assassination of Juan Jesús Guerrero in May 2013 outside a shopping center near the Dallas, Texas, suburb of Southlake 
  • The murder of the lawyer was in revenge of the killing of Villarreal’s father

The U.S. Department of State is offering a $1 million reward for information that would aid authorities in capturing and/or convicting a top ranking member of a Mexican cartel.

According to the feds, Jose Rodolfo Villarreal oversees the San Pedro Garza Garcia and Monterrey Plazas for the Beltran-Leyva Organization [BLO] Drug Cartel.

The 42-year-old Mexican national was reportedly in charge of shipping cocaine and marijuana to the United States. Villarreal also is linked to numerous criminal incidents in Mexico and the U.S. ‘to maintain his organization’s power and status.’

The Department of State said Villarreal plotted the ‘murder-for-hire’ of Mexican lawyer Juan Jesús Guerrero for two years before a team of hitmen killed him on May 22, 2013 outside a shopping center in the Dallas, Texas, suburb of Southlake.   

The United States has issued a $1 million reward for the arrest of José Rodolfo Villarreal, a top ranking official of the Beltran-Leyva Organization Drug Cartel

The United States has issued a $1 million reward for the arrest of José Rodolfo Villarreal, a top ranking official of the Beltran-Leyva Organization Drug Cartel

Officials say the assassination of Guerrero, who was a defense attorney for the Gulf Cartel and later became a U.S. informant, was in response to the murder of Villarreal’s dad.

Guerrero was sitting on the passenger side of his Range Roger and was shot by a masked man while the lawyer’s wife was loading bags into the SUV. She was not injured in the attack.  

A Texas court landed convictions on three men in 2016 and federal authorities in Texas took Villarreal’s brother, Ramón Villarreal Hernández, into custody this year following his extradition from Mexico, where he had been under arrest since 2018.

Juan Jesús Guerrero (pictured), a former lawyer for the Gulf Cartel and a United States informant, was killed May 23, 2013 under orders issued by Jose Rodolfo Villarreal, authorities say. Texas authorities are seeking the arrest of Villarreal and have so far landed convictions on three other suspects

Juan Jesús Guerrero (pictured), a former lawyer for the Gulf Cartel and a United States informant, was killed May 23, 2013 under orders issued by Jose Rodolfo Villarreal, authorities say. Texas authorities are seeking the arrest of Villarreal and have so far landed convictions on three other suspects

A gunman fired several shots at a vehicle in which Juan Jesús Guerrero was sitting in the evening of May 23, 2013 outside a shopping center in Southlake, Texas

A gunman fired several shots at a vehicle in which Juan Jesús Guerrero was sitting in the evening of May 23, 2013 outside a shopping center in Southlake, Texas

The bullet-riddled window of the SUV Juan Jesús Guerrero was sitting in when he was killed by an assassin of the Beltrán-Leyva Organization Drug Cartel in 2013

The bullet-riddled window of the SUV Juan Jesús Guerrero was sitting in when he was killed by an assassin of the Beltrán-Leyva Organization Drug Cartel in 2013

‘The fact that Villarreal Hernández was willing to send people to the United States to track someone within the United States and then execute that person in a neighborhood in Texas,’ Special Agent Gary Koenig said.  

‘We need to set the example that this will not be tolerated.’

Beltran-Leyva Organization [BLO] Drug Cartel at one time was considered one of the most powerful criminal organizations in Mexico due to its alliance with Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s Sinaloa Cartel before the two factions had a falling out in 2008.

The BLO blamed El Chapo for the January 2008 apprehension of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva, the organization’s founder. 

Villarreal is also listed on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list. Authorities believe Villarreal is most likely hiding in Mexico. 

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