Sunday, November 28, 2010

Drug Tunnel Discovery Signals New Cartel In Town

Federal authorities are questioning suspected drug smugglers to learn more about a tunnel trafficking operation uncovered on Thanksgiving Day. It's the second sophisticated smuggling tunnel between Tijuana and San Diego that agents have discovered this month, and it's more evidence that a new cartel has muscled into Tijuana. The tunnel found Thursday is nearly a half-mile long, extending from under the kitchen floor of a house in Tijuana to a pair of warehouses in the Otay Mesa industrial district of San Diego. It has ventilation, electricity, a cinder-block entryway and a rail system for a small cart to move drugs into the U.S.

Of the 76 cross-border drug tunnels discovered in the past four years, the Thanksgiving Day tunnel is one of the most elaborate officials have come across, according to Mike Unzueta, special agent in charge of Homeland Security investigations in San Diego. He says losing the tunnel is bad for cartel business. "It can't but hurt," he says. "Potentially, we're looking at a year or longer to construct something with this level of sophistication, and upwards of a million dollars in terms of the cost." Unzueta said smugglers hand-dug the channel in hard clay soil with an electric jack-hammer.

Acting on a tip Thursday, federal agents followed a tractor-trailer from the warehouse to a border patrol checkpoint. Investigators found 20 tons of pot and arrested three men in the U.S.; the Mexican military arrested five more. The arrests led to the discovery of the tunnel. Federal agents discovered a similarly constructed tunnel on Nov. 2, connecting warehouses in Mexico and the U.S. They recovered more than 30 tons of cannabis in that bust.Federal investigators believe both underground passageways were under the control of the Sinaloa Cartel, which is run by Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, the world's most wanted drug lord.



Search This Blog

Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP