DALLAS, Texas (Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dallas Field Office) — Calvin A. Shivers, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; and Matthew J. DeSarno, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, announced today the addition of Jose Rodolfo Villarreal-Hernandez, aka “El Gato,” to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
A reward of up to $1 million is being offered by the U.S. Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program for information leading directly to his arrest. The FBI’s Dallas Field Office is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Villarreal-Hernandez, who is allegedly responsible for stalking and orchestrating the murder-for-hire of a 43-year-old male victim in Southlake, Texas.
On May 22, 2013, the victim and his wife were preparing to depart a shopping center in Southlake, Texas. A white Toyota Sequoia approached the couple’s Range Rover as the wife was loading her purchases into the back of the vehicle. The victim was sitting in the passenger’s seat. The shooter exited the Toyota Sequoia as the driver pulled in behind the couple’s vehicle. The shooter approached the Range Rover from the passenger side and shot the victim multiple times. He then entered the Toyota Sequoia and fled the scene. The victim was later pronounced deceased at a local hospital.
The investigation, led by the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, revealed the victim was stalked by a group of individuals beginning in March 2011. The investigation further determined this same group allegedly committed the murder-for-hire on May 22, 2013, at the direction of Villarreal-Hernandez. Investigators believe that Villarreal-Hernandez had a personal grudge against the victim.
A federal arrest warrant was issued in the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, in 2018. Villarreal-Hernandez is charged with interstate stalking and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire.
“Jose Rodolfo Villarreal-Hernandez is charged with orchestrating a brutal murder that took place in broad daylight at a busy shopping center. The shooter and his accomplices showed no regard for the victim, his wife, or the innocent bystanders who witnessed the murder,” said Special Agent in Charge DeSarno. “The FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program allows us to bring this case to the eyes and ears of citizens around the world. We will not rest until Villarreal-Hernandez is apprehended and made to answer for these charges in court.”
“The FBI will continue to use its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program to locate and arrest violent criminals like Jose Rodolfo Villarreal-Hernandez,” said Assistant Director Shivers. “We will bring to justice those individuals who commit violent acts and threaten the safety of our citizens and our community. However, in order for us to be effective, we need the public’s assistance. We encourage you to reach out to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI if you witness a crime or have information that is beneficial to an ongoing investigation."
Villarreal-Hernandez should be considered armed and dangerous. He has black hair and brown eyes, stands 5 feet 4 inches tall, and is approximately 165 pounds. The FBI believes he may be hiding in Mexico.
Villarreal-Hernandez is the 524th person to be placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. A Ten Most Wanted Fugitive poster is available on the FBI’s website and is posted on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, digital billboards in several states that border Mexico will publicize Villarreal-Hernandez. Anyone with information regarding Villarreal-Hernandez’s whereabouts should call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI. Tips can also be provided online at tips.fbi.gov.