Mexican authorities arrested a drug lord who is listed as one of the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives for his alleged role in ordering the murder of a government informant in a Dallas suburb. On Saturday afternoon Mexican authorities arrested Jose Rodolfo “El Gato” Villarreal, in Mexico City, information released by Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) revealed.

FGR agents, Mexican Marines, and detectives with the  Nuevo Leon State Investigations Agency (AEI), a state entity whose intelligence work and years of investigation into El Gato led to his capture, carried out the operation. The drug lord will face an extradition process as he is one of the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives.

Detectives with the AEI had been hunting El Gato for years after the elusive drug lord had been linked to numerous high-profile crimes in the Monterrey metropolitan area. Using aliases and a network of hideouts in Nuevo Leon and in Central Mexico, El Gato spent years on the run prior to his capture and pending extradition.

El Gato was a former Mexican federal cop turned regional boss with the Beltran Leyva Cartel.He later broke away and established his own criminal empire in San Pedro, a wealthy suburb of the Monterrey metropolitan area in the border state of Nuevo Leon. El Gato’s organization quietly established a large-scale extortion operation known as “La Oficina,” or the office, focusing on targeting construction builders, Breitbart Texas reported exclusively. Additionally, La Oficina also reportedly managed a large-scale money laundering operation in San Pedro, which is one of the richest cities in Mexico. In Nuevo Leon, El Gato and his men are reportedly linked to numerous kidnappings, extortion, and murders.

The FBI placed El Gato on their most wanted list in 2020 for ordering a cartel assassination in Southlake, a suburb of Dallas, Breitbart Texas reported. In 2013, gunmen working for El Gato shot and killed Jesus Guerrero Chapa, a Gulf Cartel attorney turned informant, as he was leaving a shopping center in Southlake with his wife. Prior to the murder, El Gato’s men spent 6 months tailing Guerrero Chapa and even used GPS trackers and surveillance cameras.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at

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