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Massive drug tunnel with rail system discovered in pot bust at San Diego border

A major drug tunnel has been discovered under the San Diego-Tijuana border, a roughly 1,800-foot passageway found in a warehouse in Otay Mesa where U.S. authorities seized more than 20 tons of marijuana, according to U.S. and Mexican officials.

In Mexico, army troops raided a warehouse in an industrial area that concealed the tunnel entrance and seized four more tons of dope.

The back-to-back raids occurred Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in a light industrial area with a long history of tunnel activity.

The passageway, equipped with lighting, ventilation and a rail system, is one of the few unearthed in recent years that appears to have been fully operational.

About 75 tunnels along the U.S-Mexico border have been unearthed in the last four years, most of them in various states of construction. The discovery comes two weeks after the Mexican military in Tijuana seized a record 134 tons of marijuana.

That dope was seized in a nearby area of eastern Tijuana, but it’s not clear if the two incidents are connected.

The Mexican military said no one had been arrested on the Mexican side. It’s not clear if arrests were made in San Diego. More details are expected to be provided at an afternoon news conference.


Prop. 19 drew strongest support in Bay Area

Californian's say 'no' to legal pot, but 'yes' to pot taxes

-- Richard Marosi in San Diego

Comments () | Archives (55)

what if we built a wall to protect the border? hmmm guess that wouldn't help in this instance

Why don't you go out and find the exit to all these tunnels and pump a couple loads of cement down each one as you find them. Eventually you will have fewer holes.

"That dope was seized in a nearby area of eastern Tijuana, but it’s not clear if the two incidents are connected."

Dope?! How retro, LA Times.

Good thing you defeated that Prop. 19 - the Mexican drug cartels will be sure to stay in business.

Legalize it and we wont have these problems!!

Please note amazing typo at the bottom of this page--


"Californian's say 'no' to legal pot, but 'yes' to pot taxes"

If you're going to lay all your reporters off, at least have some pride, and keep your copy editors...

Actually Kevin it is likely the wall which is along the San Diego sector *did* help in this instance. It is pretty easy to find a tunnel, and the government did -- I'd be surprised if there has even been one successful tunnel operating more than a month or two. The tight security at the San Diego border forces the criminals to invest time and resources for nothing.

I wonder how many man-hours, money, effort, etc went into the operation. To bust them for cannabis. Had 19 passed, that cave would have probably caved in due to lack of use in a few months.

Is that Mayor Villar's subway to the sea?

Business as usual for the cartels thanks to our failed drug policy. Thank you everyone who voted against prop. 19. The cartels will continue making millions smuggling marijuana into California meanwhile our schools will once again be short-changed and our children will pay the price.

It seems that conservatives and drug cartels share more in common than one would think. Both want less government control and taxation. Thanks California for not passing a viable solution to this problem (i.e., Prop 19).

We re-legalized alcohol and still have problems with it, so what makes anyone think that legalizing marijuana would be any different. The drug cartels would still attempt to monopolize the market. As for the tunnels, I say pour a 3 foot by 10 foot deep wall under that fence. Then build a second fence about 500 yards into the U.S. Side and electrify it! That would sure help.


i thought there was not that great of a demand?

ha. what perfect timing. prop 19 did not pass and the war on drugs continues on...

Good job defeating Prop 19 guys, the cartels are celebrating...

The proposition might not have been perfect, but that just means they have to rewrite it better for the next election. Colorado's got a bill ready for 2012, a group here in California (I believe YesOn19) is already working on the next California bill... eventually, it'll pass.

Because stuff like this is going to keep happening, and people are going to eventually realize the benefits of legalization and undercut the cartel shipments one day.

20 tons of pot = 40,000lbs

at roughly $3,000 street value per pound...the total value of the San Diego bust:

$120,000,000 USD

If that tunnel was operational even for a few months and they were moving 20 tons of the stuff for a few months it was worth it to the cartels.

Well, I remember the Iran Contra scandal and Oliver North, and the CIA shipping tons of cocaine into the US from Central America to fund their secret operations in the 80's. There is no reason to think it still doesn't go on with all kinds of drugs, and perhaps hasn't vastly expanded, say, with marijuana from Mexico and heroin from Afghanistan. No wonder the Fed threatens us so much if it's not kept illegal. Makes you wonder who's really in charge here. Even if 19 passed a Federal judge would have just overturned it.

Who do you think built the tunnel...The Mexican Army Troops...

just a dog and pony show south of the border...

@astonished....way to compare alcohol (that kills many drunk drivers and innocent people every year) to a plant that makes people smile a lot and eat too much junk food..lol...there is no comparison to alcohol and pot....alcohol makes people aggressive...pot makes people paranoid (thereby making them stay home and watch tv).

at least if you are going to make a comparison...try pot first...dont just throw out scare tactics....alcohol kills way more people than pot ever will....actually pot has been proven to help with pain in gravely ill patients...it also doesnt make people sleep together then regret in the morning..lol

Good work California. You can keep looking for tunnels. Them boys in law enforcement need a job and the ot. We got the money to pay them what the heck. Had prop 19 passed looking for tunnels would be history along with a bunch of debt we have. Good Work California.

The only reason 19 failed is from poor design.
Fact is it did not provide for measures that would keep the cartels from being the one's suppling the demand for pot. The 20 tons in the tunnel were probably just sitting there waiting for this bill to pass.
I'm not a user myself but I believe those who want to should be able to legally do so. Rewrite a better bill next time with proper controls, and you will get it passed.

I think we should escort the illegal aliens through the tunnels, then seal it up

So much for the "Marijuana is only a small portion of the Drug Cartels' business" argument (and reporting that you do, L.A. Times).

Thanks for contributing to the madness, you're almost as hilarious as The Onion (quite possibly less credible).

"what if we built a wall to protect the border? hmmm guess that wouldn't help in this instance"

How about we build it DOWN as well as up--you know, Israeli-style??? What, you no likey? Awwww, too bad.

"dope" LOL...its 2010 :)

The pot plot

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