Tijuana Municipal police forces, backed by the Mexican military and the Baja California State Preventive Police, seized more than 100 tons of marijuana in an operation that began at dawn Monday and continued for several hours.
The commander of the Second Military Zone, Alfonso Duarte Mujica, confirmed the seizure, which would be the single most devasting blow to Mexican drug cartels in recent years.
Duarte Mujica estimated that the amount siezed, which is estimated at between 103 and 105 tons according to the latest infornation available, would have a street value of 4 billion, 719 million pesos or 709 million U.S. dollars.
According to the Tijuana police chief, Army coronel Julian Perez Leyzaola, municipal police officers stopped a suspicious convoy of 6 vehicles including several tractor trailers in the Centenario area of the municipality at 3:00 AM Monday.
A confrontation ensued in which several police officers and gangsters were wounded by gunfire after authorities began searching the vehicles and found a large amount of marijuana.
After the detention of the suspects at Centenario, a joint force of Municipal and State authorities together with a detachment of Army troops raided a warehouse in the Arroyo Alamar area where they located and siezed a huge cache of the drug along with several other tractor trailors.
A location in the neighboring municipality of Rosarito was also raided.
So far 12 suspected drug traffickers have been arrested as a result of the operation.
It is thought that the marijuana was owned by the Sinaloa cartel and other bands such as the “Mochomo” faction of the Beltran Leyva Cartel and was being smuggled through the Tijuana “plaza” under arrangements with the ruling local Arrellano Felix gang.
Sources for this article:
AFN news agency