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  1. YIPMAN
    An estimated 17 tons of marijuana were seized in the discovery of a cross-border tunnel that authorities said Wednesday was one of the most significant secret drug smuggling passages ever found on the U.S.-Mexico border.

    The tunnel discovered Tuesday stretched about 400 yards (400 meters) and linked warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana, authorities said.

    U.S. authorities seized about nine tons of marijuana inside a truck and at the warehouse in San Diego's Otay Mesa area, said Derek Benner, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge of investigations in San Diego. Mexican authorities recovered about eight tons south of the border.

    Authorities spoke at a news conference near packages of seized dope festooned with labels of Captain America, Sprite and Bud Light. The markings are codes to identify the owners.

    Photos taken by Mexican authorities show an entry blocked by bundles that were likely stuffed with marijuana, said Paul Beeson, chief of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector. Tunnel walls were lined with wood supports. The passage was equipped with lighting and ventilation systems.

    The tunnel was about four feet high and three feet wide. It dropped about 20 feet on the U.S. side.

    Two men allegedly seen leaving the warehouse in a truck packed with about three tons of pot were pulled over Tuesday on a highway in suburban La Mesa and arrested. A California Highway Patrol officer was overwhelmed by the smell, according to a federal complaint.

    Cesar Beltran and Ruben Gomez each face a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, said Alana Robinson, chief of the U.S. attorney's narcotics enforcement section in San Diego. They were scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

    Cross-border tunnels have proliferated in recent years, but the latest find is one of the more significant, based on the amount of drugs seized.

    Raids last November on two tunnels linking San Diego and Tijuana netted a combined 50 tons of marijuana on both sides of the border, two of the largest pot busts in U.S. history. Those secret passages were lined with rail tracks, lighting and ventilation.

    As U.S. authorities tighten their noose on land, tunnels have emerged as a major tack to smuggle marijuana. Smugglers also use single-engine wooden boats to ferry bales of marijuana up the Pacific Coast and pilot low-flying aircraft that look like motorized hang gliders to make lightning-quick drops across the border.

    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. Authorities said they found a drug tunnel Tuesday in Nogales, running from a drain in Mexico to a rented house on the U.S. side.

    San Diego's Otay Mesa area has the added draw that there are 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.

    After last November's twin finds, U.S. authorities launched a campaign to alert Otay Mesa warehouse landlords to warning signs. Landlords were told to look for construction equipment, piles of dirt, sounds of jackhammers and the scent of unburned marijuana.

    U.S. authorities linked the November finds to Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, headed by that country's most-wanted drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. The cartel has expanded its sphere of influence to Tijuana in recent years.

    U.S. authorities said the sophistication of the latest tunnel suggests that a major Mexican drug cartel was involved, but no link has been established.

    By AP News
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    http://www.ktkz.com/article.aspx?id=5a150b6b-4b67-4092-884f-fe0237e04c51&catid=0

    ...

    Video can be seen on Sky News:
    http://news.sky.com/home/video/world-news/video/16112113

Comments

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    [IMGL="white"]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=23159&stc=1&d=1321668795[/IMGL] Major Cross-Border Drug Tunnel Discovered South of San Diego
    Authorities recover an estimated 14 tons of marijuana tied to passageway

    NOV 16 -- SAN DIEGO - Investigators on the multi-agency San Diego Tunnel Task Force continued sifting through evidence Wednesday at a warehouse in Otay Mesa’s industrial park housing the U.S. entrance to a sophisticated passageway that runs beneath the border to a warehouse more than 400 yards away in Tijuana, Mexico.

    [IMGR="white"]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=23160&stc=1&d=1321668795[/IMGR]Authorities confirmed the existence of the tunnel Tuesday evening after obtaining a federal warrant to search the warehouse located at 8851 Kerns Street, near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Inside the nondescript white building, investigators discovered the entrance to the passageway. From the warehouse floor, the tunnel plunges more than 20 feet to the bottom of the shaft. The passageway, measuring approximately four feet by three feet, is equipped with structural supports, electricity and ventilation. Evidence found inside the warehouse leads investigators to believe the tunnel was only recently completed.

    “The fact that this is the third sophisticated cross border tunnel found within a year’s time demonstrates the cartels will stop at nothing to smuggle their drugs into the United States,” said William R. Sherman, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the DEA in San Diego. “The seizure of marijuana coupled with the loss of yet another tunnel will deal a heavy blow to those responsible for constructing this tunnel.”

    [IMGL="white"]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=23161&stc=1&d=1321668795[/IMGL]The Tunnel Task Force recently began conducting surveillance on the Otay Mesa warehouse after observing possible suspicious activity at the site. Tuesday afternoon, agents spotted a small cargo truck leaving the facility. Officers with the California Highway Patrol subsequently pulled the truck over on Highway 125 near the warehouse. Inside the trailer, officers discovered approximately three tons of marijuana packed in boxes. The male driver and a male passenger were taken into custody at the scene and are facing federal drug charges.

    Based upon the results of the vehicle stop, agents obtained a warrant to enter the warehouse, where they recovered approximately 6 ½ additional tons of marijuana. Meanwhile, Task Force officers alerted authorities in Mexico, who made entry into the Tijuana warehouse, resulting in the seizure of another five to six tons of marijuana.

    The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the San Diego Tunnel Task Force, made up of representatives from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. Formed in 2003, the Task Force uses a variety of techniques to detect cross-border tunnels, from state-of-the-art electronic surveillance to old fashioned detective work. That includes following up on tips, many of which come from the public.

    Picture Captions:
    1) Tunnel opening: Tunnel opening
    2) Box truck containing marijuana that was stopped by California Highway Patrol
    3) Pallets of marijuana stored in the warehouse which housed the tunnel entry point into the United States

    News Release
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    November 16, 2011

    http://anonym.to/?http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/states/newsrel/2011/sd111611.html
  2. YIPMAN
    Mexican trucker to be sentenced in drug tunnel
    The Associated Press

    SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- A Mexican trucker faces a long prison sentence for his role in two major drug tunnels along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Daniel Navarro is scheduled to be sentenced Monday in San Diego for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

    Prosecutors tied him to two tunnels that linked warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana last November. The tunnels had lighting and ventilation and were equipped with rail cars.

    Authorities seized about 50 tons of marijuana in the raids in the two tunnels.

    Prosecutors want the 45-year-old Navarro to spend 30 years in prison. His attorney says the government overstates his involvement and is asking for 10 years in prison.

    Posted on Monday, 28.11.11

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/28/2521527/mexican-trucker-to-be-sentenced.html
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