U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security agents seized 17 tons of marijuana Nov. 15, when they discovered a tunnel that appears to be one of the largest cross-border smuggling operations in recent years. According to an Associated Press story on the bust, the tunnel was some 400 yards long and stretched between a pair of warehouses on either side of the border in San Diego and Tijuana. The feds, the AP reported, claim the tunnel is "one of the most significant secret passages ever found on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Both U.S. and Mexican feds cooperated on the bust. Nine tons were retrieved from the warehouse in San Diego and eight tons were found on the Mexican side of the border. Agents apparently had the U.S. warehouse under surveillance, and followed two men "in a truck packed with about three tons of pot." A California Highway Patrol officer pulled the truck over and "was overwhelmed by the smell," the AP reported.
As the AP notes, two similar tunnels discovered last year led to the seizure of some 50 tons of weed. And the weed found in this week's raid apparently wasn't just generic Mexican block weed, but had all-American-sounding labels like "Captain America, Sprite, and Bud Light."
In conclusion, the bust appears to show that despite the best efforts of California's homegrown marijuana industry to dominate the medical marijuana business, they are still facing tough competition from the Mexican cartels. And it ain't helping that the federal government is cracking down on California growers and distributors by threatening to seize their property, given that the Mexican cartels either grow their product south of the border, or on land that already belongs to the U.S. federal government, i.e. national forest areas.
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Muchas gracias, Presidente Barack Obama!