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Cartels Are Using Firetruck-Sized Drillers To Make Drug Pipelines 323

Posted by Soulskill
from the looking-forward-to-their-space-rocket-deliveries dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "In the beginning, they used catapults, dune buggies, 'jalapeños,' $1 million submarines, and sophisticated drug tunnels to move drugs northward. Now, Mexican drug cartels are taking to high-end industrial drills to carve out literal drug pipelines into the U.S. It's the next big leap in the evolution of the narcos' ingenious smuggle tech. The future of borderland drug running, it turns out, is boring. Jason Kersten reports on the phenomenon in a great GQ feature that focuses on the Sinaloa Cartel, the international crime syndicate believed to be behind the first known narco pipeline in 2008: '...Mexican authorities, responding to reports of a cave-in and flooding near the [All-American] canal, discovered a tunnel unlike anything they'd ever seen. Only ten inches wide, it was essentially a pipe. The Mexican cops traced it back to a house about 600 feet from the border, where they found a tractor-like vehicle with a long barrel on its side—a horizontal directional drill, or HDD.'"
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Cartels Are Using Firetruck-Sized Drillers To Make Drug Pipelines

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  • Re:Plotline of Weeds (Score:5, Informative)

    by niftydude (1745144) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @03:48AM (#45895631)
    Season 4 of Weeds aired in 2008. FTFA, the first drug tunnel was discovered by police in 1990.

    So I don't think the cartels are the copycats here...
  • Re:Plotline of Weeds (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @04:03AM (#45895703)

    All real world tunnels discovered so far have only been a few inches wide and use a pulley system to move drugs.

    Incorrect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smuggling_tunnel#U.S.-Mexican_smuggling_tunnels [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Plotline of Weeds (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @04:04AM (#45895717)

    All real world tunnels discovered so far have only been a few inches wide and use a pulley system to move drugs.

    No, larger tunnels have been found.

    In November 2011, authorities found a 600-yard tunnel that resulted in seizures of 32 tons of marijuana on both sides of the border, with 26 tons found on the U.S. side, accounting for one of the largest pot busts in U.S. history. The tunnel was equipped with electric rail cars, lighting and ventilation. Wooden planks lined the floor. [huffingtonpost.com]

    and

    On Thanksgiving Day 2010, authorities found a roughly 700-yard passage equipped with rail tracks that extended from the kitchen of a Tijuana home to two San Diego warehouses, netting about 22 tons of marijuana on both sides of the border.

    Human trafficking wouldn't be a problem if they wanted to but I suspect that the economy in it is too low to be worth the risk and effort.

  • Re:Plotline of Weeds (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @04:21AM (#45895763)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_Strip_smuggling_tunnels

    "The Gaza Strip smuggling tunnels are passages that have been dug under the Philadelphi Corridor, a narrow strip of land, 14 km (8.699 miles) in length, situated along the border between Gaza Strip and Egypt. After the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979[1] the town of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, was split by this Corridor. One half of the town belongs to Egypt, and the other half was under Israeli military control until 2005. After Israel withdrew, the Philadelphi Corridor was placed under the control of the Palestine Authority until 2007. When the Hamas seized power in 2007, Egypt and Israel closed borders with Gaza. []

    "The tunnels are used to import a wide range of goods, including livestock, zoo animals, food, legal and illegal drugs, clothes, car parts, building supplies and weapons. The tunnels were also used to smuggle in construction materials for the Gaza Mall and the Crazy Water Park.[9][10] Palestinians view the tunnels as a lifeline, enabling them access to a wide range of commercial goods during the blockade of the Gaza Strip."

  • Re:Plotline of Weeds (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rich0 (548339) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @08:57AM (#45896741) Homepage

    Undermining defenses is WAY older than WWI. It is where the word "undermine" actually comes from. According to Wikipedia it was used by the Romans, Greeks, and ancient Chinese, and of course in the Middle Ages.

  • Re:Any drones yet? (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @10:52AM (#45897519) Homepage

    There was a great talk at the 30th Chaos Computer Congress about this, I was just watching on youtube. The talk is called "Four Wars" and it by a former MI5 whistleblower from the 90s. She makes some good observations, basically....her prediction is this will happen.

    The reason being that the war on drugs is no longer useful for the state apparatus. The war on terror replaced it.

    Look before the WOT and what do you see? Before the 90s, how often were people's homes raided and why? Where were all the swat teams and justifications for wiretaps? It was drugs, it was drugs for a long time. Drugs was used to both fund and justify so much.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G81tJI2Pls [youtube.com]

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