Authorities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border have shut the 10th drug-smuggling tunnel to San Diego in more than a decade, a passageway Mexican authorities on Thursday attributed to the cartel of fugitive kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
The tunnel, originating from the Mexican border city of Tijuana, is about eight football fields in length, with the last quarter-mile crossing U.S. territory before ending beneath a carpet warehouse in the busy Otay Mesa industrial district of San Diego, U.S. and Mexican officials said.
The tunnel was uncovered through intelligence gathered by U.S. federal agents who infiltrated a Mexican drug-smuggling ring during the past six months, according to Laura Duffy, the U.S. Attorney in San Diego.
It marked the 10th subterranean passageway from Mexico to Otay Mesa discovered since 2002. Like those and dozens of others found along the nearly 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border in the last decade, the latest tunnel was equipped with lighting, ventilation and a rail system for moving goods, authorities said.
Two Mexican government security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the latest passage belonged to the Guzman-led Sinaloa drug cartel.
Duffy said U.S. officials were less certain that Sinaloa was behind the new tunnel, based on the comparatively unfinished, dangerous nature of the tunnel shaft on the U.S. side.
“We usually see ladders going down and staircases,” she said. “This particular tunnel drops 32 to 35 feet straight down.”
Duffy said U.S. federal agents moved to seize control of the tunnel on its north end on Wednesday after a shipment of 2 tons of marijuana arrived there, and six men were arrested, two of whom were to be arraigned on federal drug-smuggling charges on Thursday.
Mexican agents seized 10 tons of marijuana awaiting shipment through the passage at the Tijuana side, and authorities expect to find more contraband when a thorough search of the tunnel is made, Duffy said.
Guzman, the world’s most wanted drug trafficker, escaped in July from a Mexican maximum-security prison through a mile-long tunnel that surfaced right inside his cell.
His escape sparked a massive manhunt, and Mexico’s government said on Friday that Guzman had suffered injuries to his face and leg after recently beating a hasty retreat from security forces.
(Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz in Mexico City; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
REVEALED: Trump associate Felix Sater gave Osama bin Laden’s phone numbers to the feds
The Russian businessman Felix Sater has been linked to Trump family enterprises for years. He was central to the effort to bring Trump Tower to Moscow. He also worked on the Trump SoHo condominium hotel in the mid-aughts.
During that time, Sater also worked as an informant for the FBI and CIA and aided prosecutors on various cases. He started working with the FBI in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme, reports the Wall Street Journal.
That's been previously reported. But what the WSJ found is that a letter just unsealed from the government praises Sater for being an especially good collaborator.
Judges ‘frustrated’ after lawyers for Trump’s banks refuse to say if they have his tax returns: CNN
Lawyers representing two of President Donald Trump's main banks upset a three-judge panel at an appellate court in New York when they refused to reveal whether they are in possession of President Donald Trump's tax returns.
CNN reports that lawyers for Deutsche Bank and Capital One "frustrated" the judges after they repeatedly cited "contractual obligations" to justify not divulging information about the president's taxes.
"The three-judge panel was so frustrated by the lawyers' refusal to answer that at one point one of the judges suggested the appellate court might seek an order for the information," reports CNN. "After several minutes of argument on the subject, the panel directed the lawyers to file letters under seal within 48 hours saying whether the banks have Trump's tax returns."
In political turn, Taylor Swift accuses Trump of ‘autocracy’
Taylor Swift, currently promoting the release of her latest album, has accused Donald Trump of treating his White House reign as an "autocracy," in a new political turn for the singer.
"We're a democracy -- at least, we're supposed to be -- where you're allowed to disagree, dissent, debate," the pop star said in snippets of an interview teased Friday by The Guardian.
Speaking about the US president, the 29-year-old said, "I really think that he thinks this is an autocracy."
In American politics, Swift said, "all the dirtiest tricks in the book were used and it worked." She described the current state of affairs as "gaslighting the American public into being like, 'If you hate the president, you hate America.'"