Pubdate: Sat, 28 Jan 2006
Source: Charlotte Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2006 The Charlotte Observer
Author: Seth Hettena, Associated Press
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


Immigration Officials: Drug Cartels Threatened Those Who Used, Built It

SAN DIEGO - Those associated with the longest and one of the most 
sophisticated tunnels ever discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border 
may be in grave danger, U.S. officials said Friday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had received 
intelligence that a Mexican drug cartel behind the tunnel had 
threatened the people who used it or were involved in its design or 

The agency appealed to those at risk to seek out U.S. officials at 
Mexican border crossings and pledged to do everything possible to protect them.

More than 2 tons of marijuana were found in the tunnel discovered 
this week, which ran about 2,400 feet from a warehouse near the 
airport in Tijuana, Mexico, to a warehouse in San Diego's Otay Mesa 
industrial district.

As deep as 90 feet below the surface, authorities found a floor lined 
with cement, lights that ran down one of the hard soil walls, a 
groundwater pump and pipes that circulated fresh air, he said. An 
adult could stand in the 5-foot-high shaft.

"There is no doubt that an organization like this will take whatever 
steps necessary to protect their interests, including taking human 
lives," said Michael Unzueta, special agent in charge of the agency's 
investigations in San Diego.
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