The attorney general for the Mexican state of Nayarit -- and a part-time Chula Vista resident -- is expected to board a plane in San Diego under FBI custody and fly to New York Friday, where he will face federal drug-trafficking charges. Edgar Veytia, 46, was arrested on a warrant March 27 as he tried to enter the United States at the Cross Border Xpress, a bridge in Otay Mesa connecting San Diego to the Tijuana Airport. Trips here are common for Veytia, as he is a U.S. citizen and maintains a home in Chula Vista, said Jan Ronis, one of his San Diego-based attorneys. The indictment out of the Eastern District of New York accuses Veytia of conspiring to manufacture, distribute and import heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. The indictment does not name alleged co-conspirators or an organized crime group.
NEW YORK – A former state attorney general from Mexico pleaded guilty on Friday to U.S. drug-trafficking charges at a courthouse where an infamous kingpin was also appearing at a conspiracy trial. Both Edgar Veytia, once chief law enforcement officer in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, and Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman are being prosecuted in separate cases in federal court in Brooklyn. Shortly after Guzman's ongoing trial wrapped up for the week, Veytia was brought into another courtroom to plead guilty to charges he was bought off to help cartels smuggle cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine to the U.S. from 2013 until the time of his arrest in 2017. The 48-year-old Veytia admitted that he arranged for drug dealers to avoid arrest and or to be released from custody. He didn't specify which organizations he supported, but it's not believed that Guzman's Sinaloa cartel was one of them.
Federal agents in San Diego have arrested the attorney general for the Mexican state of Nayarit on charges that he conspired to smuggle heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine into the U.S. Edgar Veytia, 46, was detained Monday at the U.S. border in San Diego on an indictment handed down by a grand jury in New York, Ralph DeSio, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said Wednesday. As attorney general, Veytia is the top law enforcement official in Nayarit, a state in western Mexico between the cities of Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. The indictment charges Veytia with conspiring to manufacture and distribute illicit drugs and import them into the U.S. from 2013 -- the year he became attorney general -- until February of this year. Court papers refer to Veytia by a range of aliases, including Diablo, Eepp and Lic veytia. Federal officials did not release additional details about the inquiry except that it involved agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
Millions of Mexican voters go to the polls Sunday in closely watched state elections that will provide a critical preview of presidential balloting scheduled for next year. Gubernatorial elections are taking place in three states -- the northern border state of Coahuila; the small western state of Nayarit; and, most significantly, in the sprawling state of Mexico, the country's most populous and politically significant entity. In addition, citizens of Veracruz are electing more than 200 mayors amid widespread discontent with rampant crime and massive corruption in the oil-rich state along the Gulf of Mexico. Sunday's showcase contest, however, is in Mexico state, where a bitterly fought battle featuring allegations of dirty tricks and smear tactics is widely viewed as a bellwether for next year's presidential contest, with broad ramifications for the country's long-term political scene. The long-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, has never lost a governor's seat in Mexico state since the party's founding in 1929 after the tumult of the revolutionary era.