The attorney general of Mexico’s Pacific coast state of Nayarit, hard hit by drug cartel violence in recent years, has been arrested in San Diego on U.S. narcotics trafficking conspiracy charges, federal officials said on Wednesday.
Edgar Veytia, 45, who has served as the top law enforcement officer of Nayarit since 2013, was charged in a seven-page, three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Monday in the New York borough of Brooklyn and unsealed on Tuesday.
He was taken into custody on Monday in San Diego by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations, acting on an arrest warrant, an FBI spokeswoman in San Diego said.
The arrest is another blow for Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, which governs Nayarit and is reeling from corruption scandals that have led a number of former governors to flee criminal charges.
Veytia was arraigned in U.S. District Court in San Diego on Tuesday, the FBI spokeswoman, Davene Butler, told Reuters. No further details of his arrest or court appearance were immediately released.
Veytia is accused of plotting with unnamed conspirators in the United States to manufacture, import and distribute unspecified quantities of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana between January 2013 and February 2017.
The nature and scope of the alleged conspiracy were not specified in the indictment.
The governor of Nayarit, Roberto Sandoval, said the state government would cooperate with the investigation in Mexico and the United States and said he did not know details of the accusations against Veytia.
“I want to be very clear to the people of Nayarit, men and women, that I will personally take responsibility for security…in the state,” Sandoval said. “We will not lower our guard, we will continue to be one of the safest states.”
The tiny, largely agricultural state, which encompasses a scenic stretch of beaches known as the Riviera Nayarit, has been the scene of increased narcotics-related bloodshed in recent years.
Mexican media have long alleged links between Veytia and the fast-growing Jalisco New Generation cartel.
Mexican marines used a Black Hawk helicopter in February to kill eight suspected cartel members in Nayarit, including the reputed head of the Beltran-Leyva gang, a rival of the Sinaloa cartel formerly run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
An armed group attacked Veytia in 2011, but he was not injured in the resulting shootout.
(Reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz and Frank Jack Daniel in Mexico City; Editing by Leslie Adler)
Watch Anderson Cooper use the long-form of ‘BS’ while shutting down Rod Blagojevich on CNN
MSNBC anchor Anderson Cooper was visibly angered by claims made by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich during a Friday evening CNN interview.
Blogojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for corruption while in office that included attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacancy created when Barack Obama was elected president. His sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump.
Cooper lectured Blogojevich for getting sued while governor over a backlog of 3,000 clemency cases.
The CNN anchor described it as "a little ironic and frankly a little sad and pathetic and hypocritical."
Judge rules against Devin Nunes in $9.9 million lawsuit over the salacious Steele Dossier
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) suffered a legal setback after losing a major lawsuit he had filed.
"A federal judge has tossed out a racketeering lawsuit House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes filed last year against the private investigation firm at the heart of the Trump-Russia saga," Politico reported Friday evening.
"Alexandria, Virginia-based U.S. District Court Judge Liam O'Grady's two-page order made short work of Nunes' suit, which sought $9.9 million in damages from Fusion GPS, its founder Glenn Simpson and a nonprofit watchdog group, Campaign for Accountability," Politico explained. "The judge also signaled that pressing on with the legal battle could result in sanctions against Nunes and his attorney, Steven Biss."
Devin Nunes is livid at report he helped Trump’s White House: ‘Who the hell is leaking this?’
The ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee is suing Washington, DC's hometown newspaper.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) announced that he was suing The Washington Post during a Friday appearance on Fox News.
“A senior U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers last week that Russia wants to see President Trump reelected, viewing his administration as more favorable to the Kremlin’s interests, according to people who were briefed on the comments,” The Washington Post reported Thursday. “Trump learned about Pierson’s remarks from Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the committee’s ranking Republican and a staunch Trump ally, said one person familiar with the matter.”