05/06/14 (written by callison) — The Associated Press reported this week on a large marijuana bust in the city of Tijuana, Mexico, which lies just across the U.S.-Mexico border from San Diego, California. On Thursday, May 1, members of the Tijuana Municipal Police (Policía Municipal) and Secretary of National Defense (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional, SEDENA) carried out a federal search warrant, raiding a warehouse in the Granjas Familiares del Matamoros neighborhood. According to Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR), authorities seized 44 tons (39 metric tons) of marijuana that was separated into approximately 4,000 smaller containers. Authorities have not yet arrested any suspects.
The most recent seizure adds to the high number of drugs seized in the border towns in recent years. In October 2013, 325 pounds of cocaine and at least eight tons of marijuana were discovered in a tunnel connecting Otay Mesa—just east of San Diego—with a location just outside of the Tijuana Airport. Meanwhile, more than 40 tons of marijuana was found in 2012, while another 32 tons were found in 2011. Yet “the largest seizure to date” in Tijuana, reports the Associated Press, was 148 tons of marijuana in 2010.
Along with major drug busts in past years has come the discovery of several tunnels connecting the United States and Mexico, presumably used to transport drugs and other illicit materials. As Justice in Mexico reported, two new tunnels running between San Diego and Tijuana were discovered in April 2014, marking the sixth and seventh such exposed passageways in the area in the past four years, the ninth and tenth since 2006, and the most recent discoveries since the Otay Mesa tunnel in October 2013.
“32 tons of marijuana seized in advanced San Diego-Tijuana drug tunnel.” Justice in Mexico Project. December 1, 2011.
Spagat, Elliot and Jacques Billeaud. “Drug Tunnels Discovered Between U.S.-Mexico Border Contained Railcar System, Tons of Pot.” Associated Press, Huffington Post. July 13, 2012.
“Three suspects arrested after drug tunnel found between San Diego and Tijuana.” Justice in Mexico Project. November 10, 2013.
“Two drug tunnels connecting to Tijuana found near San Diego, California.” Justice in Mexico Project. April 15, 2014.
Associated Press. “Decomisan 44 toneladas de marihuana en Tijuana.” Yahoo Noticias. May 3, 2014.
Associated Press. “PGR anuncia decomiso de 44 toneladas de marihuana en Tijuana.” Noticias Terra. May 3, 2014.