The man who governed Nayarit between 2011 and 2017, already accused by the U.S. government of corruption and taking bribes from a drug cartel, is now being sought by Mexican authorities.
A judge issued a warrant Friday for the arrest of Roberto Sandoval on charges of embezzlement and wrongful performance of duty. According to state authorities, Sandoval is not currently in Nayarit but is believed to have traveled recently to Jalisco and Nuevo León.
A request has been made to Interpol to put Sandoval on the international police organization’s red list.
Justice officials said the former governor could face up to 20 years in prison and would be required to reimburse the state with about 20 million pesos (US $980,000).
Placed on the U.S. Kingpin List in May 2019 for corruption and suspected ties to drug traffickers, Sandoval was accused earlier this year by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “significant involvement in corruption.”
He accused Sandoval of misappropriating state assets and receiving bribes from the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
The former Institutional Revolutionary Party politician has denied all the accusations against him.
Sandoval’s attorney general was sentenced last year to 20 years in a U.S. jail for drug trafficking. Édgar Veytia had pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from cartels to enable them to smuggle drugs into the U.S. from 2013 until his arrest in San Diego, California, in March 2017.
The president urged the ex-governor Saturday to answer to the charges. Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he should confront the accusations and trust in the rule of law.
“… there exists an authentic rule of law, [and] there is no longer a crooked state as before.”
Source: Reforma (sp)