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For a few tons more….

A Thanksgiving Day bust of at least nine suspects led to a seizure of between 20 and 30 tons of marijuana and the discovery of a “sophisticated” tunnel between a Mexican eat-in kitchen and two Southern California warehouses!

This sounds so much like our LAST exciting episode of tunnel discovery and 30-ton marijuana bust. Welcome to yet another cycle in the seemingly endless spiral of large marijuana busts by drug enforcement agents and retaliatory murders on the Mexican side. It looks like this tunnel is even “more sophisticated” than the last one!

The latest tunnel has a southern entry below a kitchen with a removable 2 foot-by-4 foot section of flooring, in a stucco Tijuana, Mexico home. The home has an attached garage large enough for tractor-trailer trucks. The tunnel is almost half a mile long and runs as deeply as 90 feet. The tunnel has lighting, ventilation, rail carts, wooden and cinder block supports, and wooden floors. In San Diego, the tunnel splits to lead to two separate warehouses.

The San Diego Tunnel Task Force agents discovered the tunnel after a tractor-trailer truck was loaded at one of the U.S. warehouses and was inspected at a border patrol checkpoint in Temecula, California, about 60 miles north of San Diego. Agents found the truck fully stacked with 27,000 600-pound packages of marijuana!

The authorities initially could not get THROUGH the tunnel from the American side because the tunnel was BLOCKED by huge packages of marijuana, much of it in a 10-foot-by-20-foot room located 60 feet underground! Authorities of both the U.S. and Mexico formed a human chain to remove about 3-4 tons of marijuana to unblock the tunnel. Another 3-4 tons were found at a ranch on the Mexican side.

The marijuana seized on Thanksgiving, estimated to be equal to 16-17 million 1-gram joints, was estimated to be worth $17-20 million, WHOLESALE.

CNN quotes a Customs agent:

“This is obviously not a Mom and Pop operation,” Miguel Unzueta, a San Diego-based agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Friday. “This is a major, significant drug cartel working.”

No kidding…! :-)

My questions relate more to effectiveness of the strategy, and when the next round of murders in Mexico is likely to occur.

(Note added November 26, 2010: The two warehouses in San Diego are located on Marconi Drive and Via de la Amistad. Authorities believe that the marijuana seized from tunnels this month belongs to separate cells of the Sinaloa drug cartel.)

-Bill at

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