Attorney general and close ally of the governor Mexican of Mexican Pacific coast state of Nayarit,Edgar Veytia is on trial in New York on drug related charges
Veytia was arrested March 27 by U.S. Customs after he crossed from Tijuana’s
Feds had charged Veytia with conspiring to manufacture, distribute, import and distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana between 2013 and 2017, in NY on Mar 2
Prosecutors could seize up to $250 million linked to Veytia’s alleged criminal activities
Veytia, 46, who speaks fluent english holds both American and Mexican citizenship, he became attorney general of Nayarit in 2013
The man who built the reputation of a no-nonsense crime fighter is now behind bars at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY
Mexican media allege Veytia’s connected to the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generació
The attorney general for the western Mexican state of Nayarit today sits behind bars at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York City facing drug trafficking charges.
The 46-year-old prosecutor was arrested earlier on March 27 after U.S. border agents stopped him and ran his name as he tried to enter the United States from Mexico. Agents discovered there was an arrest warrant for a sealed indictment in federal court in Brooklyn.
U.S. officials said Veytia came under suspicion during an investigation of the Beltran Leyva organization, a onetime faction of drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinoloa cartel that broke off and feuded with Guzman.
The Brooklyn indictment of March 2, which was unsealed on the March 27, charges Veytia with conspiracy to smuggle cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine to the United States from January 2013 to March 2017.
The court papers indicated that at least 2,200 pounds of marijuana was involved, stating that Veytia turned a huge profit from the illegal drugs business.
If convicted, the government would seek to seize “a sum of approximately $250 million in United States currency” under forfeiture laws.
This was a narco operative hiding in plain sight, feds said.
Until his arrest last month at the border on U.S. drug trafficking charges, Edgar Veytia was a man who lived in two worlds: suburban San Diego and the small, heavily agricultural Mexican Pacific coast state of Nayarit.
Edgar Veytia [white shirt] projected the image of a tough crime fighter
Veytia’s platform was ‘Tough on crime and the cartel’s’
A report filed by San Diego Union-tribune highlights that though born in Tijuana, the disgraced prosecutor acquired U.S. citizenship early on through his mother. He grew up in the San Diego area, attending elementary, middle and high school in San Diego.
It was in Nayarit however, that Veytia rose to the highest echelons of power, becoming a close ally of the governor and holding a number of law enforcement positions before being named the state’s attorney general in 2013.
Veytia who holds dual American and Mexican citizenship projected himself as a no-nonsense crime fighter, with zero tolerance for organized crime.
He survived an armed attack in 2011, and there was even of talk of a gubernatorial run, despite critics who complained of abductions and extortions carried out under his command, and accusations of his ties to drug traffickers.
At the same time as he was busy navigating Mexico’s law enforcement world, Veytia was maintaining ties north of the border.
Public records link him to a series of San Diego and Chula Vista addresses since 1987, and he and his wife Olimpia own residential property in the affluent Chula Vista neighborhood of San Diego.
Olimpia Veytia also owns a Curves gym franchise less than three miles away from the family’s residence.
Urbane:A man of worlds, Edgar Veytia [above] and his wife Olimpia [below] didn’t cross as your run of the mill crass politico
While Mexican political figures for years have quietly established second homes in San Diego, Veytia’s story is different: A dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, he grew up here and continues to have numerous relatives in the area, public records show. “We were bi-nationals, basically, growing up on both sides,” said an uncle, Edward Veytia, who lives in San Diego and said he has not seen his nephew for years. “I don’t remember how he actually made it to Nayarit. All I know is that he met somebody there and married. The family was well-connected.”
According toUnion-tribune, a sister, Vanessa Veytia, owns a produce and seafood wholesale company, San Carlos Veggies & Sea Food, while Miguel Cambero, described in Mexican media reports as Veytia’s brother-in-law, owns a transportation company, Transportes Refrigerados San Carlos, according to records from the California Secretary of State. Both businesses share an address on Airway Road in an industrial area near the Otay Mesa border crossing.
Though born in Tijuana, Veytia acquired U.S. citizenship early on through his mother, and attended elementary, middle and high school in San Diego, said his San Diego-based attorney, Jan Ronis.
The attorney did not know which San Diego schools his client attended but said Veytia graduated from law school in Nayarit, where a registrar’s office employee at the Universidad del Alica in the state capital of Tepic confirmed that Veytia had attended classes from 1992 to 1996.
A few years later in San Diego, Veytia became a student pilot, taking classes from 2010 to 2013 at Brown Field’s First Flight school. In 2011, he obtained a student license from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
An account published earlier this month in the Mexico City newspaper Excelsior reported that Veytia arrived in Tepic in the 1990s after meeting Cambero, his future brother-in-law, in Tijuana.
Veytia started out selling used tools purchased in Tijuana to bus drivers, according to the article, and got his first foothold in 1999, when Veytia’s father-in-law gave Veytia’s wife, Olimpia, a permit to operate a bus on a route between the state capital and the city of Compostela, the article stated. “All I know is that he went to college and ultimately ended up there employed,” said Ronis, his attorney. “The only business I’m aware of right now is his professional life as attorney general of the state of Nayarit.”
Since Veytia’s arrest, Mexican news organizations have been highlighting reports of Veytia’s connections to the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación.
During Veytia’s tenure as attorney general, Nayarit became the cartel’s den and center of operations, according to a report by the Mexico City newspaper Reforma that cited Mexican military sources.
Veytia [first right] seen here with the other members of the political establishment in Nayarit, has held several posts in law enforcement. There were talks of a gubernatorial run in 2015
The independent Mexican news website Animal Politico, reported this month that Mexican federal prosecutors had conducted at least four investigations of Autobuses Coordinados de Nayarit, a company connected to Cambero but with an address linked to another company that had been owned by Veytia and his wife.
Veytia’s sister, Vanessa, declined to be interviewed when reached by phone, and other immediate family members could not be contacted.
Even though they’d lost touch, his uncle Edward Veytia said he worried about his nephew after learning of the 2011 attack. “When they sprayed his car and he didn’t get out of there, I knew the outcome was not going to be good,” the uncle said. “He was a good kid and a Veytia is being held at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he was transferred after his March 27 arrest by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers after he crossed from Tijuana’s A.L. Rodriguez International Airport to San Diego through the Cross-Border Xpress bridge.
A federal grand jury in New York City on March 2 had charged Veytia with conspiring to manufacture, distribute, import and distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana between 2013 and 2017.
The indictment states that prosecutors could seize up to $250 million linked to Veytia’s alleged criminal activity.
Veytia pleaded not guilty to the charges. Earlier this week,