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Mexican prosecutor Edgar Veytia pleads not guilty to funneling drugs into U.S. in Brooklyn Federal Court

April 9, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Mexican prosecutor Edgar Veytia pleads not guilty to funneling drugs into U.S. in Brooklyn Federal Court

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Edgar Veytia, the state attorney general in Mexico, who was once targeted for death by drug traffickers, was incarcerated on Saturday in Brooklyn for transporting cocaine, heroin, and meth from his homeland to the U.S.

Veytia, who is known in his native state of Nayarit as “Diablo,” reportedly profited at least $250 million from the drug organization that opened for business in 2013 — the year he was elected.

The 46-year-old blankly stared in Brooklyn Federal Court before pleading not guilty to conspiracy to manufacture, import and distribute drugs, the New York Daily News reported.

He remains in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center pending a bail hearing.

The hearing was held on Saturday for security reasons, according to defense lawyer Gretchen Von Helms.

Edgar Veytia, the Mexican state prosecutor known in his home state of Nayarit as “Diablo,” was imprisoned Saturday after a hearing  in Brooklyn Federal Court on a massive drug conspiracy case that allegedly netted him at least $250 million

Veytia, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011, described himself as a crime-buster when he was elected attorney general. “Nayarit is not fertile ground for lawbreaking,” he once declared. “There is no room for organized crime.”

However, his profitable drug organization continued to operate until February of this year.

Border Patrol agents stopped Veytia, who has a residence in California and speaks fluent English, and was taken into custody on March 27th on an arrest warrant as he entered the U.S. through San Diego.

Brooklyn federal prosecutors are already prosecuting the case against notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is facing charges stemming from a 17-count indictment after he escaped out of two Mexican prisons.

Veytia, who has a home in California and speaks fluent English, was arrested March 27 on a warrant as he entered the United States via a bridge connecting San Diego and the Tijuana Airport. (JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES)

Veytia was Nayarit’s top law enforcement official, and it is alleged that he began running the drug ring when he took office.

Moreover, the Mexican official also stands accused of collaborating with senior members of the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel.

The six-page indictment that was filed on March 2nd provides few details of the operation, other than indicating that Edgar Veytia was involved in the operation that distributed heroin, cocaine, meth, and weed. Court records revealed that a minimum of 2,200 pounds of marijuana were involved, and asserted that Veytia made a substantial profit from the illegal enterprise.

If he is found guilty, the government will try to seize “approximately $250 million in U.S. currency” under forfeiture laws.

Defense attorneys anticipate that the government will allege the drug shipments began in Nayarit and ended up in Brooklyn. However, they also maintained their client’s innocence.

His wife, sister, and son attended a hearing on Friday in San Diego federal court where Veytia consented to his extradition to New York.

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