FORT WORTH, Texas – The alleged mastermind behind the 2013 murder of a drug cartel figure in Texas was arrested in Mexico City, according to a tweet from the Mexico Attorney General’s office.
Jose Rodolfo Villareal-Hernandez, aka “El Gato,” was indicted on federal charges in Fort Worth and put on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list after authorities suspected he commissioned the slaying of Juan Jesus Guerrero-Chapa, a Mexican defense attorney who was shot multiple times in Southlake Town Square, where he was shopping with his wife in May 2013, NBC DFW reported.
Guerrero-Chapa, was the personal attorney for Osiel Cardenas, the former head of Mexico’s notorious Gulf Cartel and also a U.S. government informant, according to the news outlet.
#FGR obtuvo legal detención de una persona que es solicitada por autoridades de #EUA, probable responsable en delitos de acecho interestatal y asociación delictuosa para cometer homicidio. #EUA tiene 60 días para presentar solicitud formal de extradición. https://t.co/89m99DyzxE pic.twitter.com/Nyr42fSbrO
— FGR México (@FGRMexico) January 8, 2023
Univision Dallas-Forth Worth reported that Villarreal-Hernandez was arrested during an operation that included the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and other law enforcement agencies in Mexico.
The “mastermind” reportedly held a leadership position in the Beltran Leyva drug-tracking ring in Mexico, according to the FBI. The feds had offered a reward of $1 million for information leading to the capture of one of the FBI’s top ten fugitives.
During the 2013 homicide, two Mexican assassins reportedly drove up and shot Guerrero-Chapa multiple times. His wife was not injured.
A federal judge granted an arrest warrant for Vilareal-Hernandez in 2018 charging him with conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and interstate stalking, the FBI said.
Jose Rodolfo Villareal-Hernandez, a Mexican national, was on the FBI’s top ten most wanted list. (fbi.gov)
“The fact that Villarreal-Hernandez 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—we need to set the example that this will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent Gary Koenig in a press release in 2020 announcing Villarreal-Hernandez’s addition to the top ten most wanted list.
The brother of Villarreal-Hernandez, Ramon, was taken into custody in 2018 in Mexico. He was later extradited to the U.S. in 2020 for charges related to the murder. He pleaded guilty in June 2022, NBC DFW reported at the time.
Three additional defendants who tracked Guerrero-Chapa and his family for months were also convicted.