More than 25 tons of marijuana seized at U.S.-Mexican border

11:24, November 05, 2010      

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U.S. federal agents seized more than 25 tons of marijuana after uncovering a tunnel at the U.S.- Mexican border, authorities said on Thursday.

It was one of the largest-ever drug seizures in San Diego, a Southern Californian town bordering Mexico, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The seizure came two weeks after Mexican authorities discovered a record 134 tons of marijuana in an industrial area near Tijuana, a Mexican border town.

Officials don't know if there is a connection between the two events, but called this week's discovery another significant blow against organized crime groups.

The drug was seized after federal agents uncovered a tunnel linking drug warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana, the ICE said.

The lighted and ventilated tunnel was a 1,800-foot transnational passageway -- roughly equivalent to six football fields in length, the ICE said.

The tunnel isn't the longest or the most sophisticated ever built, but it is one of the few instances in which authorities were able to seize drugs on both sides of the border, according to the ICE.

The scale of the operation pointed to the work of a major Mexican drug cartel, authorities said.

The investigation was triggered Tuesday afternoon when task force agents stopped a truck at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint and found about 10 tons of marijuana stuffed in the 53-foot trailer, said ICE Director John Morton.

U.S. anti-drug agents later raided a warehouse from which the truck had departed and discovered another 10 to 15 tons of dope, the bales wrapped in cellophane and on pallets, as if ready for shipping, said Morton.

Mexican soldiers on Wednesday raided a warehouse south of the border and found about four tons of marijuana, according to the Mexican military. U.S. authorities wouldn't disclose how the Mexican entry point was found.

Source: Xinhua


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