'Super' bust yields 17 tons of marijuana

Drug were found in mobile home on east side

TIJUANA – In one of the largest seizures on the border, Mexican soldiers discovered more than 17 tons of marijuana on Wednesday night in a mobile home in a northeastern neighborhood, according to military authorities.

The commander of the Baja California's Second Military Zone, Gilbert Landeros, raised the possibility that the drug belonged to two criminals he identified only by their nicknames, "El Aquiles" and "La Rana." Both led cells linked to the Sinaloa cartel and both worked for Teodoro García Simental, who was arrested in January 2010,

An anonymous tip phoned in to the Morelos army barracks led soldiers to the marijuana, Landeros said. The caller said three people were unloading packages of marijuana in front of a mobile house on Garita de Otay Street.

However, when a squad of soldiers arrived at the location, two people had already fled, abandoning the drug in the home.

The soldiers found 1,632 packages of marijuana in the home, which had a total weight of 17.6 tons. Some were decorated with images of superheroes and other popular animated characters, such as Homer Simpson, Batman and Captain America.

A few minutes from there, in the same Mesa de Otay district, the army seized on Oct.7 a total of 3,718 pounds of marijuana that various people attempted to take out of the tires of a piece of heavy machinery.

According to Landeros, despite the crackdown on organized criminals and the arrest of some of their leaders, criminals continue trying to smuggle the drug to the United States.

Wednesday's drug seizure was one of the largest by the Mexican army in the border region in a year in which soldiers discovered a 300-acre "mega" field of marijuana plants south of Ensenada and confiscated nearly 800 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $11 million on Oct. 3 in Tijuana.

Last October, the army intercepted various tractor trailers and vehicles in the Otay district of Tijuana, carrying 147 tons of marijuana.



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