The discovery of a drug tunnel linking San Diego and Tijuana warehouses led to the seizure of some 17 tons of cannabis as well as a large grow operation in the industrial area of Otay Mesa east of San Diego, US and Mexican authorities announced Nov. 16. The tunnel’s opening in Tijuana was discovered by soldiers in an industrial construction site near the airport. Mexican authorities alerted their US counterparts, who found the opening in Otay Mesa, where several so-called narco-tunnels have been found in recent years. The seized marijuana bundles were labeled with pictures of Captain America, the symbol used by a major local operator for the Sinaloa Cartel, Mexican military authorities said.
“The drug cartels mistakenly believe they can elude detection by taking their contraband underground, but again and again, we’ve been able to find these tunnels and shut them down,” said Derek Benner, special agent in charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which heads a San Diego-based multiagency tunnel drug task force. (El Universal, Nov. 17; LAT, Nov. 16)