Thursday, December 7, 2023

US court sentences former Nayarit attorney general to 20 years

A former attorney general of Nayarit has been sentenced to 20 years in jail in the United States for drug trafficking.

Édgar Veytia, 48, was sentenced on Thursday in a federal court in Brooklyn, NY. Prosecutors had sought a life sentence.

U.S. authorities alleged that the H-2 Cartel, engaged in trafficking cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamines to the United States, bribed Veytia on a monthly basis from 2013 until his arrest in 2017.

Veytia told the judge that he committed an error by accepting the bribes in exchange for using wire taps and other police tools to protect the cartel.

The former attorney general holds dual citizenship, and at times lived in San Diego, California, where he was arrested by U.S. authorities in 2017.

U.S. authorities said he used his position as Nayarit’s chief law enforcement officer to obstruct investigations into the cartel in Mexico.

Veytia directed other corrupt Mexican law enforcement officers under his supervision to assist the H-2 Cartel, released members and associates of the cartel from prison after they had been arrested for drug trafficking-related crimes, instructed corrupt Mexican law enforcement officers to target rival drug traffickers for wiretaps and arrests and assisted the H-2 Cartel in carrying out murders and other acts of violence, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Veytia pleaded guilty to charges of international conspiracy to manufacture and distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

The Justice Department said the H-2 Cartel, based in Nayarit and Sinaloa, moved an estimated 500 kilograms of heroin, 100 kilos of cocaine, 200 kilos of methamphetamines and 3,000 kilos of marijuana into the U.S. every month between January 2013 and February 2017.

The cartel is named after a former leader, Juan Francisco “El H2” Patrón Sánchez, a drug trafficker who left the Sinaloa Cartel to join its rival, the Beltrán Leyva Organization. He was killed in a gunfight with security forces in Tepic in 2017.

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