The arrest of Nayarit’s Attorney General on drug charges was not due to information provided to United States authorities by former drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, his lawyer said yesterday.
Jan Ronis said Guzmán had not informed on his client, Édgar Veytia Cambero, who was arrested almost two weeks ago in San Diego, California.
“I’ve read many things in all kinds of newspapers, even Mexican ones, that are incorrect,” Ronis told reporters outside the federal court in San Diego, where Veytia was ordered transferred to Brooklyn, New York, to face charges of conspiring to manufacture, import and distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
Last week, Judge Bernard G. Skomal refused to grant Veytia bail based on the serious nature of the crimes.
Investigations into Veytia began in 2014 in a joint effort by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Those investigations singled out Veytia for collaborating with others in the manufacture and distribution of controlled substances, including at least five kilograms of cocaine, half a kilogram of methamphetamine, 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and one kilogram of heroin between January 2013 and February 2017.
Veytia is expected to plead not guilty and request bail.
If the federal grand jury in Brooklyn finds Veytia guilty the former official in the administration of Institutional Revolutionary Party Governor Roberto Sandoval could face life imprisonment.
Back in Nayarit, a self-professed friend of Veytia has been accused of carrying out extortion on the politician’s behalf, “sowing terror” in the state by parading as his personal advisor and operating on the edge of the law.
The man, who calls himself Comandante Jack on social media, was a fundamental part of Veytia’s infrastructure, charged Mayela Ruiz Madrazo, a former public prosecutor who now runs a human rights organization that offers legal advice to abused women.
Two days after Veytia’s arrest, Comandante Jack — his real name is Jahaziel Espinosa Huerta — declared on his Facebook page that Veytia was never a partner but “always was a friend and always will be,” and was godfather to his daughter.
Some photos of Espinosa show him wearing a black wrestler’s mask and holding assault weapons.