Attorney General of a Mexican State Is Arrested for Drug Trafficking

Color me shocked. A Mexican law enforcement official from a state owned and operated by the Sinaloa Cartel is up to his unibrow in drug trafficking.

The attorney general of the western Mexican state of Nayarit was in a federal jail in San Diego on Wednesday night on charges of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine, heroin, marijuana and meth, according to court documents.

Edgar Veytia, 46, the chief law enforcement officer in Nayarit — the scene of numerous deadly drug gang showdowns in recent years — was arrested Monday at a border crossing in San Diego after he was flagged for an open federal warrant issued in New York.

An indictment handed up March 2 by a federal grand jury in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, and unsealed Wednesday charges Veytia — also known as “Diablo,” “Eepp” and “Lic veytia” — with three counts of conspiracy to import, manufacture and distribute heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine.

The indictment blames Veytia for the manufacturing and distribution of a large enough quantity of drugs to support reasonable suspicion that he was involved in smuggling illegal narcotics from multiple countries. For example, the amount of meth alone — at least 2,200 pounds — would yield almost 4 million individual doses at the generally accepted dose of a quarter-gram.

The exact scale of the alleged conspiracy wasn’t disclosed, but prosecutors said Veytia would have to forfeit at least $250 million in cash and property if he’s convicted.

The sad fact is that most of Mexico is, for all practical purposes, outside the control of the central government. This isn’t new. Mexico started losing control of its territory to drug cartels in the late 1940s. There is no word on how Veytia came to be traveling to the United States, whether it was serendipity or if he was lured. If it was the latter, that shows State and Homeland Security were collaborating on the operation because arresting a senior elected official of a foreign and friendly power is a significant event. As the arrest also fits nicely into the administration’s strategy of ratcheting up the pressure on Mexico, one is tempted to believe that this was a calculated warning shot.