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More than 14 tons of marijuana seized after cross-border tunnel is discovered

November 16, 2011 |  1:10 pm

Tunnel OpeningU.S. and Mexican authorities on Wednesday announced the seizure of more than 14 tons of marijuana and the discovery of a large cross-border tunnel linking a warehouse in San Diego to Tijuana.

The drug seizure was part of the multi-agency investigation that was coordinated with the Mexican military, authorities said.

The discovery of the tunnel demonstrates the continuing efforts of Mexican organized crime groups to circumvent bolstered border defenses by constructing sophisticated subterranean passageways that can handle enormous drug shipments.

Dozens of tunnels have been discovered in recent years, most of them in the same light industrial area of San Diego’s Otay Mesa neighborhood, where this most recent passageway was discovered on Tuesday.

The tunnel was linked to an industrial building near the Tijuana airport, where Mexican soldiers Wednesday morning stood guard over of about three tons of neatly stacked marijuana bundles. Dozens of the packages were labeled with pictures of Capt. America, the symbol used by a major operator of the Sinaloa drug cartel in Tijuana, said Mexican Gen. Gilberto Landeros Briseno, in an interview with the Mexican media.

The Sinaloa drug cartel, Mexico’s most powerful organized crime group, has a long history of constructing tunnels to funnel drugs into the U.S. Authorities in the U.S. said they will provide more details at an afternoon news conference in San Diego.


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Photo: Homeland Security agent stands over tunnel opening. Credit: U.S. Attorney's Office