The Drug Tunnel

By Motorhead · Jul 22, 2005 · ·
  1. Motorhead
    Ha, these guys had some ambition.
    <H3>Three B.C. men charged after drug tunnel bust</H3> News Staff

    Three men from Surrey, B.C. were charged Thursday in Washington state with conspiracy to distribute and import marijuana.

    The charges come after American authorities on Wednesday shut down an underground tunnel crossing the U.S.-Canada border which was used in a drug-running operation.

    "This is the first tunnel ever discovered between Canada and the U.S.," said a U.S. Justice Department release.

    Thesophisticated 110-metre tunnel runs from a depth of one to three metres and is reinforced with iron rebar and 2x6 wood supports.

    The U.S. Justice Department said 42 kilograms of pot were transported through the tunnel and thenloaded into a van.

    The van drove to the Bellis Fair Maill inBellingham, Wash., where the marijuana was loaded into another vehicle. That second vehicle was stopped by the Washington State Patrol and the pot was seized.

    CTV News Vancouver confirmed that RCMP officers were involved in the Wednesday bust, which was led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Homeland Security was also involved in the investigation.

    In a news conference, U.S. authorities revealed that the tunnel begins under a Quonset hut in Langley, B.C, and ends beneath the living room of a house in Lynden, Wash.

    The building on the Canadian side is located near 264th Street and Zero Avenue in Langley, south and east of Vancouver.

    Authorities had been watching construction on the site for eight months.

    The Seattle Timesreported that investigators used a machine that can "see" underground, a video-equipped robot, a drug-sniffing dog and an air horn to find it.

    Neighbours said they had suspicions about the property for some time, but were surprised when they heard what's alleged to have been going on inside. They described the man who resided in the building as being about 30 years old.

    "I never thought he had a tunnel, never," an area resident told CTV Vancouver. "That just stuns me."

    Another neighbour said the building was suspicious "for a long time," adding that the news of the investigation "doesn't surprise me a bit."

    Francis Devandra Raj, 30, Timothy Woo, 34, Jonathan Valenzuela, 27, were scheduled to appear in court in Seattle on Thursday afternoon.

    Check out the site, they got some pics.Edited by: Alfa

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  1. Alfa
    Yeah, right: someone would dig a 110 metre tunnel for smuglin 42 kg's of pot. I don't think so. I wonder how many tons have gone trough that tunnel.
  2. MrJim
    Dude I know what you mean. This wasn't just a chiseled out 2 and a half foot high tunnel. It was built right.

  3. Motorhead
    Thanks for posting the pic Mr Jim. Heres a follow-up story on
    <H3>Tunnel helps B.C.'s reputation as a pot mecca</H3>
    Canadian Press

    VANCOUVER — It's known as the marijuana capital of Canada, a haven for potheads, where grow-ops spring up at such a rate that police can't keep up with the multibillion-dollar industry that rivals tourism and forestry with its economic clout.

    It's British Columbia, where the words "This bud's for you'' have nothing to do with beer.

    Now, B.C.'s international reputation as a mecca for marijuana has been further solidified after Canadian and American law enforcement officials discovered a secret tunnel beneath the Canada-U.S. border to smuggle-- what else?-- pot.

    Three B.C. men have been charged in Washington state with conspiracy to distribute and import marijuana after the tunnel-- longer than a football field and complete with ventilation and electricity-- was used to sneak across their first load of cannabis.

    American officials have busted 33 cross-border tunnels between Mexico and Arizona but the one discovered last week was the first between Canada and the U.S., said Jeff Eig, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Seattle field division.

    Construction of the north-south tunnel is a likely sign that increased enforcement by Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security since 9-11 is so effective that B.C. smugglers had to go underground, Eig said in an interview.

    "It's something, certainly, that we're going to be looking at more aggressively,'' he said.

    Marijuana activist Marc Emery, dubbed the Prince of Pot by American media, said the sophisticated tunnel will only inflate Vancouver's reputation for weed.

    "It will remind Americans that we're producing pot and we're trying to get it to them in any way possible,'' he said.

    "I was crushed to discover (the tunnel) had been discovered so early in its history,'' quipped Emery, who has twice made a run for mayor of Vancouver and is founder of the B.C. Marijuana party.

    The pot politician, who has made millions with his marijuana seed business, also founded Cannabis Culture magazine and Internet-based Pot-TV.

    At Emery's B.C. Marijuana party headquarters and bookstore, the smell of pot clings to the air as a man smokes weed from a bong-- a water pipe.

    Tourists, many from the U.S., hang around the store, taking in the sights and scents of the place they discovered on the Internet or heard about from friends.

    A couple named Linda and Frank, from Austin, Texas, seem enraptured by the pot paraphernalia that includes marijuana seeds-- with names like Atomic Haze, God Bud and Lethal Purple-- pipes and magazines such as High Times.

    Smoking pot in a store isn't something you'd see back in Republican "Bush country'' or anywhere in the U.S., says Linda, adding there's just too much conservative thinking where she comes from.

    "Y'all have conservative people here too who think it's a detriment to British Columbia but look at all the tourism you're having,'' gushes Linda, who doesn't want her last name published.

    Linda, a stay-at-home mom, is basically along for the scenery, while Frank says he's been a pot aficionado for a few years.

    "Vancouver has the reputation in the United States, from my impression, of being the Amsterdam of the North American continent,'' he says.

    A few minutes later, the two head next door to the New Amsterdam Cafe, where neon signs advertising marijuana seeds jump out at passersby and where Frank enjoys a joint with seven strangers getting high in the Smoke Room.

    In the cafe, people are sitting at the tables and rolling doobies without a care.

    You'd think it was all legal.

    Insp. Paul Nadeau, of the RCMP's Co-Ordinated Marijuana Enforcement Team, said police are well aware of the activities at three businesses in the gritty part of Vancouver that borders on the city's Downtown Eastside, where cocaine and heroin are kings among the junkies.

    Anyone smoking marijuana can be charged with possession while those selling it can be on the hook for trafficking, Nadeau said.

    But police are concentrating their limited resources on bigger problems-- the explosion of grow-ops.

    "The marijuana grow-ops, we get 5,000 reported to us every year but we're only able to deal with or bust about 30 per cent of that,'' Nadeau said.

    In 2003, 4,514 grow-ops were reported in B.C., with an average of 236 plants per grow, Nadeau said. That's up from 1,489 grow-ops six years earlier that averaged 149 plants each.

    It's not uncommon to see some grow-ops with over 1,000 plants, he said.

    "We're just flooded, we're drowning in the numbers and we need to resolve that because running around from one grow-op to the next, seizing plants and sending people to court where very little if anything happens to them, is not the way to go.''

    Grow-ops are seen as easy money by people who weigh the risk and reward factor and decide to go for it, Nadeau said, adding there's only an eight per cent chance that anyone growing pot will see the inside of a jail cell.

    "We've got the lowest sentencing, certainly on marijuana grow-ops, of any province across Canada.''

    New organized crime groups are becoming a huge part of the marijuana industry in B.C., Nadeau said.

    While Asians and Vietnamese are increasingly growing the pot, outlaw biker gangsters are brokering it, Indo-Canadian gangs are transporting it and white-collar criminals are laundering the money that injects about $7 billion a year into the province's economy, he said.

    For police, the pot problem is no longer confined to B.C.

    "This issue has spread across Canada now. In the last two or three years the (grow-op) numbers are increasing very quickly, especially in Ontario and Quebec.''

    Most of the marijuana from the eastern provinces is also destined for the U.S., he said.

    lol ya, as for the 42 kilo's that was probably just what they busted them with that day. Who knows how much dope went through there before the bust.

    cheersEdited by: Alfa
  4. MrJim
    Evidently the police knew about the tunnel before it was finished and just waited until the "right" time to bust them, but I mean what else could they say? There was a tunnel operating for an unknown amount of time? That just wouldn't have a very good PR spin.
  5. MrJim
    I had to put this picture up. All I can say is I find it very hard to believe, with all of our power tools that that tunnel was dug out by a freakin' shovel.

    <TABLE width=200 align=center>
    <DIV align=center>Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Field Division holds one of the shovels used to dig the illegal tunnel. </DIV></TD></TR></T></TABLE>
  6. unico_walker
    I don't know how it is now, but if you look at the photo its basically
    like the tunnel goes under a backyard. I know there were a couple of
    communities that were half on the US side and half on the Canadian
    side, plus the vast rural border, this tunnel just seems like a waste
    of effort.
  7. Alfa

    VANCOUVER -- A tunnel allegedly built to smuggle marijuana from Canada to the United States will be destroyed next week, an official with the Drug Enforcement Administration said Friday.

    Rodney Benson, special agent in charge of the Seattle Field Division of the DEA, also said more arrests are imminent in the case.

    The two-day project to fill in the tunnel will begin on Thursday. A crew will cut through the roadway above the tunnel near the Lynden, Wash., border before steel and concrete barriers are inserted and the tunnel is filled in with dirt and gravel, Benson said.

    A liquid foam cement that hardens like rock will then be put into the tunnel to close it off permanently, he said.

    The first covert tunnel ever discovered between Canada and the U.S. was shut down last month by police from both sides of the border after authorities monitored its construction, watching lumber going in and soil coming out.

    The 110-metre tunnel stretched from a metal hut in Langley to a point underneath the living room of a house in Lynden, where police had installed cameras and microphones.

    Three men from Surrey were charged in Washington state with conspiracy to distribute and import marijuana.

    The structure was so sophisticated that it was equipped with electricity, ventilation and sump pumps to ensure water didn't gather. The builders had also installed a small cart to allow them to move freight or people from one end to the other.

    Benson said 1,000 pieces of lumber were used to build the tunnel.

    "So a lot of that wood will have to be taken out," he added.

    "Criminal organizations spent months to construct it, spent ... probably a million dollars in constructing it, and it's going to be shut down in a way that it will never be used again."

    The tunnel has been under 24-hour surveillance by the Customs and Border Protection Service since it was seized.

    Benson said officials are continuing their investigation.
  8. Alfa

    I seriously doubt that authorities where aware of the constructions. I think it's bluf, showing their shame for a tunnel that was used many years.
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