A federal judge in Mexico has ordered the arrest of a former governor of the state of Nayarit over money laundering charges. The daughter of former Nayarit Governor Roberto Sandoval Castaneda was also included in the arrest order.
Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office accused Castaneda and his daughter Lidy Alejandra Sandoval Lopez of having laundered huge drug cartel bribes during the politician’s term from 2011 to 2017, according to a Breitbart News report.
Authorities said that Roberto Sandoval Castaneda worked through his state attorney general to benefit from criminal groups such as Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Beltran Leyva in exchange for bribes. Also, the former politician was accused of using his daughter to purchase properties in an attempt to launder the money. His daughter at the time was a college student.
With his then-Attorney General Edgar Veytia, Roberto Sandoval Castaneda has been allegedly involved in a string of illicit activities such as extortion, kidnapping, theft of properties, murder, and money laundering. However, the politician publicly denied all the charges against him.
Veytia is a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States. He was arrested in March 2017 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at the Cross Border airport, which is connecting San Diego to Tijuana International Airport.
Veytia was sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 2019. He was also fined $1 million after he pleaded guilty to ‘international heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine,’ manufacturing of marijuana, and distribution conspiracy responsible for the importation of illegal drugs from Mexico to the U.S., according to a Daily Mail report.
“The judge considered that the crime that is the subject of the request for the arrest warrant is of special relevance and social impact, given the excessive amount of operations reported to the economic detriment of the public finances of Nayarit,” the Office of the Attorney General said in a statement.
It added that there was evidence in both the state and federal courts of their alleged relationship with people who have been detained in a foreign country for illegal activities connected to organized crime.
Roberto Sandoval Castaneda’s Case
The Office of the Attorney General is now protecting 10 witnesses who testified against Roberto Sandoval Castaneda and Veytia after the Feb. 8 arson of a restaurant owned by one of the witnesses, who accused the duo of setting up and participating in their kidnappings and tortures in December 2020.
The Nayarit state prosecutors’ office has already seized two properties, reportedly worth $8.2 million, that Castaneda illegally obtained. One of the properties was a 40,000 square-foot ranch in Tepic, which is the capital of Nayarit.
Officials also got the headquarter building of a foundation that specialized in children’s physical rehabilitation.
Since February 2020, Roberto Sandoval Castaneda and his whole family have been blocked from entering the U.S. premises.
Meanwhile, former U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that Roberto Sandoval Castaneda received bribes from the said organized crime groups and, in return, was rewarded with information and protection.