January 27th, 2006 12:41 PM
Two Tons Of Pot
Updated: 02:47 AM EST
Two Tons of Marijuana Found in Tunnel
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD, The New York Times
LOS ANGELES (Jan. 26) - Drug smugglers have dug one of the longest, most sophisticated tunnels discovered in recent years along the Mexican border, and the American and Mexican authorities have hauled nearly two tons of marijuana out of it since they entered it on Wednesday, officials said.
The tunnel is 60 feet below ground at some points, five feet high, and nearly half a mile long, extending from a warehouse near the international airport in Tijuana, Mexico, to a vacant industrial building in Otay Mesa, Calif., about 20 miles southeast of downtown San Diego. The sophistication of the tunnel surprised officials, who found it outfitted with a concrete floor, electricity, lights and ventilation and groundwater pumping systems.
The authorities said a tip led to the discovery.
"The tunnel is absolutely amazing," said Michael Unzueta, special agent in charge for the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's San Diego office. "It is probably the biggest tunnel on the southern border so far."
On the American side, agents found about 200 pounds of marijuana in the building in Otay Mesa, which had several bays for tractor-trailers. On the Mexican side, drug agents found a pulley system at the entrance to the shaft and several thousand pounds of marijuana and hauled it out for several hours Wednesday. Mexican authorities also found seven cellphones, two trucks, a van and various documents in the warehouse, according to a statement from the Mexican attorney general's office.
The customs enforcement agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Border Patrol are sending a forensics team from Los Angeles to determine how long the tunnel has been in use.
The tunnel is one of the latest to be found along the border. Most are attributed to Mexican drug cartels searching for ways to move contraband into the United States, but some appear to be the work of smugglers of illegal immigrants.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, when border security was tightened, agents have uncovered 21 tunnels of varying degrees of length and sophistication, from "gopher holes" to engineered marvels like Wednesday's discovery, Mr. Unzueta said.
The builders, he said, "had to have access to money and somebody with a strong construction and engineering background."
"Our quick assumption is it's the drug cartels," he said.
The tunnel, Mr. Unzueta added after touring it, " is almost like a mineshaft."
Wednesday's discovery was the result of a tip investigated by a task force of federal agents devoted to tunnels. On Monday, they narrowed their search to the area in Otay Mesa and notified Mexican agents about what they suspected was the opening of the tunnel near the airport.
Both sides began digging. Mexican agents discovered a concrete-lined, 85-foot-deep shaft in a warehouse, descended, walked through the tunnel and popped up on the American side, Mr. Unzueta said. Officials on each side are searching records to determine who owns the buildings.
Also on Wednesday, several miles west of the big tunnel, the authorities found a smaller one — about two feet underground and extending 30 feet across the border near a storm drain — after a United States Border Patrol vehicle hit a sinkhole.
01/26/06 22:41 EST
January 27th, 2006 12:44 PM
Makes you wonder what besides pot has come accross in that tunnel
DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.
Certified Instructor for Minnesota Carry Permit
NRA Pistol and Personal Protection Insrtuctor
Utah Permit Certified Instructor
January 27th, 2006 04:14 PM
Also makes one wonder just who exactly knows about it...
January 27th, 2006 05:18 PM
I guess with the drug scene being so rich with $$$'s - the barons can pay minions to do all the digging and hire engineers too for this scale of operation.
Heck - these guys have their own planes!
Where there is one - there'll be others (over and above the 21). Hmmm - bunker busters penetrate well down don't they - hmmmm
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
January 27th, 2006 06:30 PM
The Egyptians didn't have cranes, trucks, or power tools and they built the pyramids.
Never underestimate the engineering ability of human beings.
January 27th, 2006 06:40 PM
Maybe Mexico is hiring North Koreans now. The North Koreans have built some great tunnels under the DMZ!!
EOD - Initial success or total failure
By friesepferd in forum General Firearm Discussion
Last Post: January 31st, 2008, 12:12 PM
» DefensiveCarry Sponsors