Although Edgar Valdez Villarreal is the latest U.S. born gangster to rise to kingpin status in the world of Mexico’s drug cartels, he is not the first or the highest ranking, or even the most murderous on a personal level.
The following is a brief history of another notorious U.S. born drug trafficker who rose to a leadership position in Mexico’s criminal underworld. Other histories will follow
Fred Gomez Carrasco "El Señor": Feb 10, 1940 - Aug 3, 1974
Born and raised in San Antonio Texas, Fred Gomez Carrasco was, in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the biggest and deadliest drug lord on the Texas-Mexico border, overseeing a cocaine and heroin empire that stretched from Guadalajara to San Diego, California, and Chicago, Illinois.
It was suspected by law enforcement personnel of the day that he personally committed at least 47 murders during his criminal career.
Gomez Carrasco’s organization was also responsible for the murders of dozens of other victims, mostly other gang members, in Laredo and San Antonio, Texas, and across other cities in Texas and the U.S.
Gomez Carrasco was based in Nuevo Laredo after taking the city in a brutal war that mirrored today’s drug gang violence and lawlessness. Around 100 victims of execution style murders including more than two dozen policemen were left in the wake of the struggle that ousted the equally ruthless Reyes-Pruneda clan from regional control of drug trafficking.
The violence was severe enough that in another precursor of today’s lawlessness the Mexican army was sent in to occupy the city.
He was arrested in Guadalajara, Mexico in September, 1972, with 213 pounds of heroin worth more than $100 million and a large arsenal of weapons.
In December of 1972, Gomez Carrasco bribed authorities and escaped a prison in Jalisco in a laundry truck.
After returning to the U.S. and vowing that he would never be taken alive by law enforcement, Gomez Carrasco was arrested in July 1973 in San Antonio, Texas after being shot four times by police and surviving.
After leading an unsuccessful escape attempt from the Texas state prison at Huntsville, Gomez Carrasco, and another convict committed suicide during a shootout with lawmen after an 11 day siege of the prison library where hostages were held. Two hostages were murdered in the escape attempt
Sources: Time Magazine, Texas Monthly, Dallas Morning Times, Hecho en Tejas: a literary review.