Earlier today at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Edgar Veytia, the former Attorney General for the State of Nayarit, Mexico, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Carol Bagley Amon to one count of international conspiracy to manufacture and distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 963, 960(b)(1)(A), 960(b)(1)(B)(ii), 960(b)(1)(G), 960(b)(1)(H) and 959(d), for his involvement in a 2013 to 2017 scheme to import illegal drugs from Mexico into the United States. When sentenced, Veytia faces up to life in prison.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY), Brian Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Ray Donovan, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division (DEA), David J. Downing, Special Agent-in-Charge, Los Angeles Division (DEA), Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigation, New York (HSI), and Matt DeSarno, Special Agent-in- Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office (FBI), announced the guilty plea.
The case was investigated by the DEA, FBI and HSI as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
Veytia pleaded guilty to Count One of the Indictment, charging him with an international drug trafficking conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico into the United States. According to court filings and facts presented during the plea proceeding, from January 2013 until February 2017, Veytia used his official position as State Attorney General to assist and abet drug trafficking organizations operating in the Mexican State of Nayarit in exchange for bribes. Veytia, who was responsible for Mexican state law enforcement authorities charged with investigating crime in Nayarit, used his official position to protect drug trafficking activities related to distribution into and within the United States and obstructed legitimate investigations and prosecutions of drug trafficking members in Mexico, for example by preventing the arrest of drug traffickers or unlawfully releasing those who had been arrested by Mexican law enforcement authorities.
The government’s case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Craig Hereen, Ryan Harris, Alicia Washington and Temidayo Aganga-Williams of the EDNY, together with Deputy Chief of Litigation Amanda Liskamm and Trial Attorneys Jason Ruiz and Anthony Aminoff of the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
EDNY Docket No. 17-CR-115 (CBA)