Sept. 27 (UPI) -- A New York federal judge sentenced a former Mexican state attorney general to 20 years in prison for using his position to conspire to import thousands of pounds of illegal drugs into the United States.
Edgar Veytia, who was the attorney general for the state of Nayarit, Mexico, was sentenced in a Brooklyn courtroom Thursday on charges related to scheming with Mexican drug trafficking organization the H-2 Cartel from January 2013 to February 2017 to distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico into the United States, the Department of Justice said.
"Veytia used his position as the top law enforcement officer in his region to assist and abet drug trafficking organizations in Mexico," the prosecution said. "Veytia received bribes on a monthly basis and provided official sanction for the H-2 Cartel to engage in drug trafficking in Nayarit."
The dual citizen also directed his state's law enforcement officers to assist the drug cartel through releasing its members and associates from prison and targeting rival gangs for wiretaps and arrests connected to the deaths of H-2 Cartel members, the attorneys said.
The government estimates that during the years Veytia supported the cartel, it imported approximately 1,102 pounds of heroin, 220 pounds of cocaine, 440 pounds of methamphetamine and 6,613 pounds of marijuana a month into the United States.
Veytia, 48, was arrested in March 2017 after he crossed into San Diego from Tijuana and pleaded guilty in January to one count of participating in an international drug manufacturing and distribution conspiracy. On Thursday, he was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison with 5 years of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit $1 million.
"As a United States citizen with a home in California, the defendant could have left his life of corruption behind at any time," Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Harris said in a sentencing memorandum. "Instead, he chose to stay, enable these violent drug trafficking organizations and accept the benefits of working with these criminals."