Packaged or in the ground, army seizes marijuana

Also detects secret air strip south of Ensenada

TIJUANA – Mexico’s Defense Department announced Thursday a series of drug operations, including the seizure of nearly 700 pounds of marijuana in Rosarito Beach.

Meanwhile, dozens of Rosarito Beach police officers protested the military’s detention of one of their own the previous night who was accused of improperly carrying a firearm.

An anonymous crime tip led the army on Wednesday to a house in the Ampliación Lucio Blanco neighborhood, southeast of the city, where they found the marijuana, the department said during a press conference at the Morelos base.

The army found 29 packages of marijuana wrapped in plastic, weighing a total of 688.6 pounds. They also detained two suspects, who were not identified, and confiscated one gun.

The department also announced that the army found two fields of marijuana plants, covering a total of 1.3 acres. The fields, about 40 miles southeast of San Felipe, were incinerated.

And the military found a strip of land 640 feet long by 25 feet wide that appeared to be used as a runway.

The strip, located about 40 miles northeast of San Quintín, was destroyed.

The department said that military has received 955 reports of crime so far this year in Baja California through phone calls, e-mails and in person.

The reports have led to the disruption of the finances, infrastructure, weaponry and drug supplies of organized criminal groups, helping to preserve the peace, the department said.

Not everyone was happy with the military, however. Dozens of Rosarito Beach police officers protested the arrest of officer Tomás Veliz, who was detained by the military on Wednesday night and accused of illegally carrying a weapon. The protesters maintained that the military violated the officer’s rights.

Rosarito Beach Mayor Javier Robles told them that he would look into the case of the officer, who remained in federal custody.


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