Thursday, November 4, 2010

San Diego-to-Tijuana drug tunnel uncovered; 25 tons of pot seized

Federal authorities discovered a tunnel linking drug warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana that led to the seizure of more than 25 tons of marijuana, one of the largest-ever drug seizures in San Diego, officials said. The 1,800-foot transnational passageway — roughly equivalent to six football fields in length — isn't the longest or the most sophisticated ever built, but it is one of the few instances in which authorities were able to seize drugs on both sides of the border. The scale of the operation pointed to the work of a major Mexican drug cartel, authorities said, and comes two weeks after Mexican authorities discovered a record 134 tons of marijuana in an industrial area near Tijuana. Officials don't know if there is a connection between the two events, but called this week's discovery another significant blow against organized crime groups.

Authorities estimated the drugs' worth at more than $20 million. "I can promise you there are some very unhappy people in the cartel," said John Morton, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which leads the multi-agency San Diego Tunnel Task Force. The investigation was triggered Tuesday afternoon when task force agents patrolling the light industrial area near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry followed a tractor trailer that was acting suspiciously, Morton said. The truck was stopped at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Temecula, where agents found about 10 tons of marijuana stuffed in the 53-foot trailer. Two people in the truck, a husband and wife whose identities were not disclosed, were arrested. Agents later raided the warehouse from which the vehicle had departed and discovered another 10 to 15 tons of dope, the bales wrapped in cellophane and on pallets, as if ready for shipping.



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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.

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