Attorney General of Nayarit arrested in U.S. on drug charges

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.

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.

In 2013, Veytia was accused of ties with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and suspected in several missing person cases, yet continued to hold his position at the State’s top prosecutor.

The state of Nayarit, which encompasses a scenic stretch of beaches known as the Riviera Nayarit just north of Puerto Vallarta, has been the scene of increased narcotics-related bloodshed in recent years.

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.

(Reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Frank Jack Daniel in Mexico City; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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