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San Diego, CA - Feds: Largest Pot Bust In U.S. History At Cross-Border Tunnel

Published on: November 30, 2011 03:13 PM
By: AP
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This image provided by the San Diego Tunnel Task Force shows the entrance to a cross-border tunnel in San Diego on Tuesday Nov. 29, 2011, the latest in a spate of secret passages found to smuggle drugs from Mexico. The tunnel was found in San Diego's Otay Mesa area, a warehouse district across the border from Tijuana, according to authorities. (AP Photo/San Diego Tunnel Task Force)This image provided by the San Diego Tunnel Task Force shows the entrance to a cross-border tunnel in San Diego on Tuesday Nov. 29, 2011, the latest in a spate of secret passages found to smuggle drugs from Mexico. The tunnel was found in San Diego's Otay Mesa area, a warehouse district across the border from Tijuana, according to authorities. (AP Photo/San Diego Tunnel Task Force)

San Diego, CA - The discovery of a cross-border tunnel equipped with electric rail cars, a hydraulic lift and end-to-end wood floors has ended in seizures of more than 32 tons of marijuana, one of the largest pot busts in U.S. history, authorities said Wednesday.

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The 600-yard passage linking warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana included a wooden staircase, lighting and ventilation, said Derek Benner, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s special agent in charge of investigations in San Diego. It was tall and wide enough to move comfortably inside.

“This is an incredibly efficient tunnel designed to move a lot of narcotics,” Benner told The Associated Press.

Authorities recovered nearly 17 tons of marijuana at the warehouse in San Diego’s Otay Mesa area, nearly 12 tons inside a truck in Los Angeles and about 4 tons in Mexico, Benner said. Several arrests were made.

Tuesday’s find was the latest in a spate of secret passages found to smuggle drugs underground from Mexico, a response to heightened enforcement on land. In an emerging seasonal trend, many are turning up shortly before the winter holidays in what authorities believe is an effort to take advantage of the Mexican harvest season.

Two weeks ago, authorities seized 17 tons of marijuana in connection with a tunnel linking warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana.

This image provided by the San Diego Tunnel Task Force shows the entrance to a cross-border tunnel in San Diego on Tuesday Nov. 29, 2011, the latest in a spate of secret passages found to smuggle drugs from Mexico. The tunnel was found in San Diego's Otay Mesa area, a warehouse district across the border from Tijuana, according to authorities. (AP Photo/San Diego Tunnel Task Force)This image provided by the San Diego Tunnel Task Force shows the entrance to a cross-border tunnel in San Diego on Tuesday Nov. 29, 2011, the latest in a spate of secret passages found to smuggle drugs from Mexico. The tunnel was found in San Diego's Otay Mesa area, a warehouse district across the border from Tijuana, according to authorities. (AP Photo/San Diego Tunnel Task Force)

Raids last November on two tunnels linking warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana netted a combined 52 of marijuana on both sides of the border. Those secret passages were lined with rail tracks, and had lighting and ventilation.

Authorities believe the latest tunnel began operating recently but declined to provide details.

“I would say it’s probably as sophisticated as any we’ve ever seen,” William Sherman, acting special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego told the AP.

More than 70 tunnels have been found on the border since October 2008, surpassing the number of discoveries in the previous six years. Many are clustered around San Diego, California’s Imperial Valley and Nogales, Ariz.

California is popular because its clay-like soil is easy to dig with shovels. In Nogales, smugglers tap into vast underground drainage canals.

San Diego’s Otay Mesa area has the added draw of plenty of warehouses on both sides of the border to conceal trucks getting loaded with drugs. Its streets hum with semitrailers by day and fall silent on nights and weekends.


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1

 Nov 30, 2011 at 03:39 PM HaNavon Says:

Time to legalize it!

2

 Nov 30, 2011 at 03:44 PM cynic Says:

Could we hire those folk to finish up the Second Ave Subway? And then... they could build the #7 extension to New Jersey...

3

 Nov 30, 2011 at 03:52 PM Yossi Says:

Sof Ganef Letlieh....

4

 Nov 30, 2011 at 04:06 PM Aryeh Says:

We really need to end the drug war. It serves no purpose but to inflate the value of contraband to criminals and to criminalize otherwise law abiding citizens. We simply cannot afford it in this economy. Not the cost of the war, or the cost of imprisioning nearly a million citizens.

5

 Nov 30, 2011 at 04:18 PM maxedout Says:

As Reb Shloimele sang.... L-rd get me high, get me high, L-rd take me higher and higher. Well, its nice to know the authorities are WEEDing out the pushers :)

6

 Nov 30, 2011 at 05:58 PM enlightened-yid Says:

This will make Harriet Tubman and her underground railroad network jealous.

7

 Nov 30, 2011 at 09:53 PM yoyoyo Says:

Oy bashefer when are they gonna legalize it already, Pot doesn't hurt anybody just makes you a little happy what's the big deal just legalize it. And who said pot heads are not smart? I wanna see one of you clean sober non smoking pot guys built a tunnel like this. Lol

8

 Nov 30, 2011 at 10:44 PM PatersonMan Says:

Reply to #2  
cynic Says:

Could we hire those folk to finish up the Second Ave Subway? And then... they could build the #7 extension to New Jersey...

You made my day !!!!! Thanks!!

9

 Dec 01, 2011 at 09:29 AM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Reply to #7  
yoyoyo Says:

Oy bashefer when are they gonna legalize it already, Pot doesn't hurt anybody just makes you a little happy what's the big deal just legalize it. And who said pot heads are not smart? I wanna see one of you clean sober non smoking pot guys built a tunnel like this. Lol

"And who said pot heads are not smart? I wanna see one of you clean sober non smoking pot guys built a tunnel like this. Lol ”


You cracked me up just now!!! (:-D

I agree that it really is time to legalize it! It's OVERTIME to do so! I cannot believe the money wasted & spent on throwing pot-heads in jail! (lol)

Not to mention, we all know it just fuels the drug-trade & makes everything super dangerous & much worse for society!

It's time to legalize it in this country!

Put a tax on that bad-boy, and we'll see our $15T deficit sink like a hard stone!

10

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