The United States Drug Task Force discovered one of the longest cross-border drug trafficking tunnels on record. Authorities report that the 2,400 foot long tunnel, connecting the United States and Mexico from San Diego to Tijuana, was built by the Mexican drug cartel.
Federal agents seized 12 tons of marijuana and arrested 22 people tied to the sophisticated tunnel, which was lit, ventilated, and even equipped with its own rail system. The discovery of this passageway demonstrates the enduring appeal of tunnels to transport drugs from one country to another, despite the significant time and money required to build one.
The undercover police sting operation resulted in 6 arrests in San Diego and 16 in Tijuana, linking the two cities to an extremely large drug smuggling ring. Authorities seized two tons of marijuana from the US side of the tunnel and ten tons from Mexico. Smugglers reportedly attempted to move the first load of drugs through the tunnel, but nothing got through undetected.
The arrests were made after an undercover agent for U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agreed to provide the drug smugglers with drivers and a warehouse in exchange for a $10,000 payment for each truckload of drugs moved. In a released statement, US attorney Laura Duffy explained:
“We see a super tunnel open for business once every year or so. Just when they think they’re ready to move, we put it out of business. We continue to make good on our promise to relentlessly pursue and shut down any tunnel as soon as it opens.”
photo credit: Mexico Federal Police
Tuesday prosecutors in San Diego announced that an undercover operation revealed an illegal medical marijuana dispensary was dealing in more than marijuana. The operation in question took place at Market Greens, located at 4255 Market Avenue in the Mt. Hope neighborhood where undercover officers successfully purchased cocaine.
This buy gave authorities enough evidence to gather a search warrant. The warrant was served on October 14, with acting officers immediately focused in on a locked door where the product was stored. Upon arrival officers were refused entry by an employee, not discouraged officers continued in the facility to be met by an armed man inside. Officers were quoted saying the man reached for his gun initially, but quickly stood down when police identified themselves.
The officers found cocaine, marijuana edibles, and four hand guns. One of the hand guns had been reported as stolen and as of now five people have been arrested in connection with the illegal operation.
“Illegal dispensaries can be dangerous places, as evident by the fact that a convicted felon was found on the premises of Market Greens in possession of a weapon,”
said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.
He makes a great point here, not only was this facility operating outside the bounds of California’s medical marijuana laws (which are pretty grey) but it was in possession of other illegal substances and firearms – hardly a place for patients to feel safe or attain medicine of any quality. Earlier this year one person was murdered at another illegally operating dispensary. Goldsmith elaborated that this effort was not an attack on legitimate medical marijuana operations.
“Our office is focused only on zoning violations. That’s it. We’re not after shutting down marijuana, as far as medical marijuana is concerned.”
Photo Credit: 7SanDiego