Thursday, October 22, 2015

Elaborate drug tunnel uncovered in San Diego, 16 captured

OTAY MESA, Calif. - Mexican authorities said Thursday they seized about 10 tons of marijuana in an elaborate tunnel with a rail car system that extended into San Diego and was designed to smuggle drugs into the U.S. from Tijuana. The discovery on Wednesday marks one of the longest and more sophisticated clandestine tunnels found on the U.S.-Mexico border. The passage was 9 feet deep and about 2,600 feet long — about three-quarters of that distance in Tijuana and the rest in San Diego. It was lit, ventilated and built with metal beams to prevent collapse. Meanwhile, federal authorities had a building blocked off with crime tape at 2587 Otay Center Dr. in Otay Mesa. On Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers along with Homeland Security officials were on scene, but would not confirm if the tunnel ended at that building. Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for ICE, declined to comment. It was also unclear which drug trafficking organization began the engineering feat. The region is largely controlled by Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, whose leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escaped from a maximum-security prison in Mexico in July through an elaborate tunnel. Mexican police said in a press release about the drug tunnel that 16 people were detained on suspicion of drug trafficking and had told authorities that they had ties to a criminal group that operates in the state of Jalisco — an apparent reference to the Jalisco New Generation cartel, which controls that part of western Mexico...more

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