Large drug shipment seized in Tijuana
The product was taped, color coded and packaged for shipment to the United States, through the San Ysidro or Otay Mesa crossing, where 70% of the meth in the country comes through. The couriers were well dressed, professional, and had the look of Sinaloense, no surprise as the hundreds of kilos in crystal, coke, and heroin was from Sinaloa.
The owner, or person in charge of crossing the product (delegating the process) was Jose Gastulem Soto, 'El Tigre', a prominent trafficker in Tijuana, who despite having his name on the DEA's list of top Baja/San Diego traffickers has eluded capture and kept a mostly low profile.
Tigre comes from the post 2008 world of the Tijuana plaza, a onetime enforcer of Teodoro Garcia Simental, 'El Teo', who along with the Azarte brothers, have risen to become the most wanted in the state. Soto is not publicly named in any unsealed US indictments, out of the Southern District of Califronia, or anywhere else in the US.
He managed to avoid Operation Narco Polo, which indicted the Azarte brothers, Los Antrax, Chino Antrax, Serafin Zambada Ortiz, and a dozen plus other significant active traffickers. He is thought to have influence in Rosarito and Tijuana.
Tigre fought against the Sanchez Arellano people in earlier years, as well as Aquilles, and other fallen cell leaders, like El Cuervo and El Guicho, in the confusing world of retail drug markets and competing cells under the same banner.
In total, the load contained 108 kilos of crystal, 46 kilos of cocaine, and 43 kilos of heroin. An expensive shipment, both across the border and in Tijuana. Roughly estimating the loss through an imperfect, but mostly accurate process....Pounds of crystal go for roughly 3,000 directly across the border, gaining value of course, the further they travel, whether it be Los Angeles, or the crystal ravaged Inland empire.
Accordingly, 3,000x224+ 672,000. Of course, the purchase price is cheaper in Tijuana, and more so in Culiacan, so subtract maybe another 100k or so, if you wish. But, the efforts to produce the crystal, and bring it to the transshipment point aren't free either, though cheaper then one might think.
The kilos of cocaine, roughly estimating at 27,000, though even in San Diego or Los Angeles could be as much as 29,000 even to an upper tier distributor. This load would likely be bound for Los Angeles, and not broken down in shipments across the country, like the 300 kilos seized in Santa Fe Springs a month or so back. Again the purchase point is less in Tijuana/Culiacan (dependent on variables), maybe 20,000/43 or so. Estimating for potential revenue is about 1.2 million, again take off maybe 100k or so, if you wish to estimate a lower purchase point.
With the two combined, you are at roughly 2 million. Add in the heroin, which is roughly 25,000 a pound, though generally sold in pounds, and you have another million. So, at a minimum this is 2.5-3 million dollar loss somewhere up or down the line. Anyone may do their own math, using any metric, it's a still a serious amount of product.
The official reports indicate the drugs were seized from a 2002 Mercury Ford, and 1999 Sentra. It's likely information from a rival group, or someone else was the cause of this seizure, it's rare for the PEP to make drug seizures of this stature.
Sources: AFN Tijuana