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Narco-Tunnel suspects refused Bail by Federal Judge

Narco tunnel of drugs

Narco tunnel of drugs

Two of the people accused in connection with what authorities say was the most sophisticated drug tunnel ever discovered between California and Mexico appeared before a federal judge Thursday.

Law enforcement officials raided the tunnel Tuesday. They confiscated more than 32.4 tons of marijuana – the largest seizure from a border tunnel operation in the state – in warehouses in Otay Mesa and Tijuana, and in a tractor trailer allegedly driven by suspects Salvador Zuniga and Laureano Gonzalez from Otay Mesa to the City of Industry outside of Los Angeles.

Zuniga and Gonzalez are facing conspiracy and distribution charges and could face up to 10 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. In Federal Court Thursday the judge approved a request to keep the men in custody because they are a flight risk, a detention hearing is set for Dec. 6. In addition, the men were appointed defense attorneys and were scheduled preliminary hearings on Dec. 15.

Four other men arrested in connection with the tunnel are being charged in California’s Central District.

The tunnel was found 40 feet below the surface and spanned 612 yards from a warehouse in Tijuana to another in Otay Mesa. The passageway – four feet wide and four feet, seven inches tall – was equipped with an elevator and a rail system. It was the second major tunnel shut down in the last two weeks and the seventh in the last five years.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the investigation into this specific tunnel operation began in the spring. U.S. and Mexican officials have not released information regarding which drug-trafficking organization owned the tunnel or the drugs.

The other four suspects in custody in Los Angeles are identified as Saul Perez, Adrian Escobedo, Samuel Treto Jr. and Miguel Angel Felix Echavarria.

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Posted by on 12/02/2011 in Crime!

 

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Authorities seize 18 tons of drugs in “narcotúnel-between San Diego and Tijuana

U.S. officials announced today the discovery of a new “narcotúnel” in the area of ​​Otay Mesa, California, connecting Mexico and the U.S., where 18 tons of marijuana seized.

Drug Tunnel Tijuana to USA

Drug Tunnel Tijuana to USA

 

The head of the Border Patrol San Diego Sector, Paul A. Beeson said in a press conference that the tunnel had a length of 400 yards, 3 feet wide and 4 feet high.

Besides having a ventilation system, the underground passage was based on a warehouse near the Tijuana International Airport and ended in a warehouse district near the junction of heavy goods vehicles east of San Diego.

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in San Diego, Lauren Mack, said the discovery was made by the Task Force San Diego tunnels, made by officers of ICE, Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP ) and the DEA, whose representatives were at the press conference.

This group alerted the Mexican authorities, which located the entrance to a precarious place with dirt floors and tin roof.

Beeson said the tunnel did not have the sophisticated infrastructure of other structures, lacking a lighting system, concrete foundation or rails.

Federal agents seized six tons of marijuana in the U.S. sector of the tunnel, and other three tons on a truck.

The U.S. authorities confirmed information of the neighboring country which suggests that the drugs belonged to Alfredo Arteaga Gonzalez, alias “The Achilles’, as found in several packages of Captain America figure associated with that drug dealer, who is presumably working for the Sinaloa cartel.

The most important finding is attached to the dismantling of two tunnels discovered in November 2010 in the same area, which had sophisticated rail systems, ventilation and electricity and where it seized 50 tons of marijuana.

One of these passages was almost a mile long, from a residence in Tijuana to a warehouse in Otay Mesa, while the second covered a distance equivalent to six football fields, and had light, ventilation and a rail system.

About 75 “narcotúneles” have been discovered in the last four years on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The Otay Mesa area is a favorite because it has good roads and many wineries where you can hide drugs.

On 9 March, for example, a small, crude tunnel was discovered east of the port of entry in Calexico, California, which only penetrated 10 feet into the United States, together with drainage pipes and considered by ICE as “not significant “.

From 2002 to 2004, authorities discovered at least 13 tunnels, most of them in the area of ​​San Diego and Calexico, representing a significant increase from the 12 that were discovered in the 12 years prior to the terrorist attacks of 2001 to result of which was tightened border security.

In February 2002, for example, authorities discovered a sophisticated tunnel about 1,000 feet long equipped with rails, electric lights and a ventilation system, which started from the Mexican city of Tecate and connected with a residence in the mountains East of San Diego.

 

 

 
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Posted by on 11/17/2011 in Drugs

 

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