Weekend Raids Net More Than 3 Tons of Meth, Marijuana in Tijuana

CBP officers seized $1.7 million in methamphetamine at two Laredo, Texas, ports of entry. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Elements of Tijuana municipal, state and federal police, and the Mexican Army seized more than 912 pounds of methamphetamine and 3 tons of marijuana during three operations over the past weekend.

The most recent seizure occurred Saturday when personnel from the Tijuana municipal police responded to a 911 call in colonia Cañadas del Florido on Calle de la Pantera, where they located an abandoned Mitsubishi Outlander parked in front of a residence. Police observed numerous plastic bags containing a white granular substance inside cardboard boxes. Local reports note that a total of 77 bags containing methamphetamine weighing 170 pounds were discovered. Police then looked into the residence and observed more bags. The Mexican Army provided security while a search warrant was signed.

The following morning, investigative personnel from the federal attorney general’s office entered the residence and discovered an active methamphetamine lab with precursor chemicals and equipment. The total weight of methamphetamine seized from the vehicle and premises came to 661 pounds, according to another local report. No information was released pertaining to arrests.

In the second seizure of methamphetamine, investigative personnel of the state police stopped two males driving a 1999 Ford Ranger in colonia Manuel Paredes I on Saturday. Intelligence was developed to indicate the two individuals were possibly transporting a load of methamphetamine, according to a statement released by police. During the traffic stop, police conducted a search of the vehicle and discovered large plastic boxes loaded with methamphetamine, weighing nearly 253 pounds. The two males who were identified as Lorenzo “N,” 27, and Jorge “N,” 20.

In the third seizure, investigative personnel from the federal prosecutor’s office along with elements from the Mexican Army served a search warrant Friday in a warehouse located in the Paseo de los Héroes en Zona Urbana Río section. Investigative personnel discovered 3 tons of marijuana packed in cardboard boxes. No further information was released.

The turf war over the street sale of methamphetamine between rival criminal gangs aligned with the major cartels is blamed for the record-breaking number of killings in the border city abutting California.

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)

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