Feds Uncover 32 Tons of Pot in CA Tunnel

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on December 01, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Federal authorities discovered a cross-border tunnel loaded with 32 tons of marijuana this week in San Diego, California. Several arrests were made in connection to the drug tunnel, in what is likely one of the biggest marijuana busts in U.S. history.

The tunnel linked two warehouses between Tijuana and San Diego. Authorities believe the tunnel had only recently begun operations. It featured lit passageways, electric rail cars, wood floors from one end to another, and an hydraulic lift.

Ironically, the Tijuana side of the tunnel leads to a location that is on the same block as a police office, reports the AP.

In most jurisdictions, possession and sale of marijuana are both against the state law. Federal law also prohibits the distribution of the drug. Penalties for violating the laws may differ depending on the amount of marijuana that is either bought, sold, or possessed. Most likely, whoever is behind the 32 tons of marijuana seized in the San Diego tunnel will face hefty charges.

Just this past Monday, the AP reports that a man was sentenced to 16 years in jail for his involvement with drug tunnels that were raided last year.

While the staggering amount of drugs seized during this one particular bust is surprising, drug tunnels aren't exactly new. Authorities say that more than 100 different cross-border tunnels have been discovered in the past five years.

Drug smugglers may be choosing California as a location for drug tunnels because of the state's soft soil, which the AP reports is great for digging with shovels. Cross-border tunnels have also been found in Nogales, Arizona, where one was found last week linking a drain from Mexico to a house in the United States.

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