——————— CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE DAILY BENEFACTOR———————
——————————————————- TOP STORY ——————————————————-
Federal authorities in San Diego have made one of the largest marijuana seizures in the United States, confiscating more than 20 tons of pot that was smuggled into the country through an underground tunnel connecting warehouses on either side of California’s border with Mexico, officials said Wednesday.
Mexican authorities seized more than four tons of pot from the warehouse on their side of the border.
The marijuana is worth more than $20 million if sold on the streets of San Diego, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton. The bricks of pot were packaged for sale.
“This is obviously the work of a cartel,” said Mr. Morton, who held a news conference outside the warehouse in an industrial park near the Otay Mesa truck crossing, across from Tijuana.
Officials said the lightening-speed, 12-hour operation started Tuesday night when U.S. authorities watching a warehouse under surveillance followed a tractor-trailer as it left the building.
ICE agents called in the California Highway Patrol, whose officers stopped the rig near Temecula, Calif., about 60 miles way. Authorities say they found 10 tons of marijuana inside the tractor-trailer. The driver, a U.S. citizen, and his Mexican wife were arrested and will be arraigned in San Diego on Thursday.
Authorities quickly obtained a federal search warrant to enter the warehouse, where they discovered 10 to 15 more tons of marijuana, Mr. Morton said.
They also found the opening to the tunnel, which ran the length of six football fields under the border and ended at a warehouse in Mexico, Mr. Morton said. The tunnel had lighting, ventilation and a rail system to send loads of illegal drugs into California.
The clandestine passageway was too low to stand up in and was believed to be in operation for only a brief time, Mr. Morton said.
Officials said the seizure was the largest ever in California and was believed to be the second-largest in the United States. The largest amount of marijuana seized by Drug Enforcement Administration agents was in 2008 in Oregon, where 33 tons were found, DEA Special Agent Ralph W. Partridge said.
Wednesday’s announcement comes only weeks after Mexican officials made their largest marijuana seizure ever, confiscating a massive 134 tons believed to belong to the powerful Sinaloa cartel.
Mr. Morton said officials haven’t determined which cartel was running the drug tunnel.
Officials have found 125 underground tunnels along the border built by Mexican drug cartels to elude detection since the early 1990s, ICE officials said. Of those, 75 have been found in the past four years. Many were discovered before they were completed. The majority were found along the California and Arizona borders with Mexico.
Mr. Morton credited the increase in tunnel discoveries to “good old-fashioned law enforcement” efforts, with agents keeping a close eye on the thousands of warehouses storing goods moved back and forth across the border.
Morton said such a rapid bust, which came after a monthlong investigation, was possible because of cooperation between U.S. and Mexican authorities. He said that cooperation is better than ever, making it tougher for Mexican drug traffickers to move their loads and forcing their smuggling businesses to move underground.
World oil prices hit fresh six-month peaks on Thursday as the dollar slumped on the back of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s new huge stimulus package aimed at boosting the American economy.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December delivery rallied as high as 87.59 dollars, reaching a level last seen on May 4. It later stood at 87.46, up 1.08 dollars from Wednesday’s close.
Accompanying their election coverage on their website, CBS published a photoshopped picture of a half black/half white Obama with Republicans and Democrats on either side of him. How could anyone think that changing the President’s skin tone like this would be a good idea?
Obama’s white side is on the side of the GOP’s John Boehner and Eric Cantor. His black half is on the side of Harry Reid and Charles Schumer.
Voters in Arizona on Tuesday approved Proposition 107 banning the consideration of race, ethnicity or gender by units of state government, including public colleges and universities.
With 2,075 of 2,239 precincts reporting as of early Wednesday morning, the measure had just under 60 percent support. Arizona joins California, Michigan, Nebraska and Washington State in imposing such bans.
While GOP gains in the House and Senate are grabbing the headlines, the most significant results on Tuesday came in state legislatures where Republicans wiped the floor with Democrats.
Republicans picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures – the most in the modern era. To put that number in perspective: In the 1994 the GOP picked up 472 seats.
Demonstrators chanted “Down with America” outside the former U.S. Embassy and pelted the British diplomatic compound with eggs and tomatoes Thursday in separate rallies held under tight security.
The protests outside the former American Embassy were well-scripted events to mark the anniversary of the 1979 storming of the site, which began a 444-day hostage crisis and severed Washington’s ties with Iran.
The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a ballot measure that bars judges from considering Islamic law in any ruling.
On Tuesday, with about a dozen other states watching, Oklahoma became the first state to put before voters the proposition that Islamic courts, Islamic law and Shariah-based court decisions should be banned.
Allen and Violet Large figured they were lucky enough already. So when the Canadian couple hit it big in the lottery this year, they decided to give it away – all of it.
Since their July win, the elderly couple has donated nearly every cent of their $11.2 million winnings to charity. Call it the Larges’ largess. “What you’ve never had, you never miss,” Violet Large said.