Former Mexican prosecutor pleads guilty with El Chapo nearby

NEW YORK (AP) – A former state attorney general from Mexico pleaded guilty on Friday to United States (US) drug-trafficking charges at a courthouse where an infamous kingpin was also appearing at a conspiracy trial.

Both Edgar Veytia, once chief law enforcement officer in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, and Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman are being prosecuted in separate cases in federal court in Brooklyn.

Shortly after Guzman’s ongoing trial wrapped up for the week, Veytia was brought into another courtroom to plead guilty to charges he was bought off to help cartels smuggle cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine to the US from 2013 until the time of his arrest in 2017.

The 48-year-old Veytia admitted that he arranged for drug dealers to avoid arrest and or to be released from custody. He didn’t specify which organisations he supported, but it’s not believed that Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel was one of them.

“I used my official position to assist drug-trafficking organisations,” he told the judge.

Veytia faces at least 10 years in prison at sentencing later this year, though the term could be more than double that if the judge follows sentencing guidelines as calculated by prosecutors. According to an indictment, the goverment could also seize “a sum of approximately USD250 million in US currency” under forfeiture laws.