United States prosecutors are asking for a life sentence for former Nayarit attorney general Édgar Veytia, who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in a U.S. court earlier this year.
“The accused provided substantial assistance to a violent drug-trafficking organization,” the prosecution wrote in a memo. “In exchange for bribes, he allowed . . . the transportation of drugs and violent score-settling.”
Veytia, who is accused of protecting drug traffickers while he was attorney general between 2013 and 2017, will be sentenced next Thursday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the same court where notorious trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was tried. Veytia’s defense lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, also defended Guzmán. Veytia’s crime carries a minimum sentence of 10 years.
According to a court document seen by the newspaper El Universal, the former politician was also known as “El Diablo,” or “The Devil,” worked with a drug trafficker named Juan Francisco Patrón Sánchez, who moved a half-tonne of heroin and 100 kilograms of cocaine into the United States every month.
Veytia accepted bribes from Patrón to free the latter’s partners from prison, arrest his rivals and cover up at least one murder, among other crimes.
“The government does not dispute that the accused faced a difficult task: apply the law in a place with significant corruption,” the prosecution memo reads. “However, it’s clear that . . . he chose a life of corruption that put Nayarit in danger. Veytia, a U.S. citizen with residence in California, could have left the life of corruption behind, but he decided to aid these violent drug trafficking organizations and accept the benefits.”
Source: El Universal (sp)