Filed Under:  Border Tunnels, San Diego

The Tunnels of Alfredo Arteaga “El Aquiles"

December 1st 2011   ·   0 Comments

A tunnel beginning near the Tijuana airport was uncovered Tuesday night (11/29/11). This was the 2nd tunnel found in the same area within the month of November. This one is likely the most sophisticated to date.

The tunnel was over 300yards long, and had a hydraulic elevator that could carry 3 people. 32 tons of marijuana were found.

The large seizures of marijuana are in conjunction with the harvest in Mexico. Large portions are pushed across the border and stashed in the US. Dealers will sit on it through the winter and distribute it as needed. The sealed up marijuana can stay fresh for some time as long as it is packaged and stored correctly.

Alfredo Arteaga González, known as “El Aquiles”, is a well known drug trafficker in the Tijuana area. He is a high ranking member of the Sinaloa Cartel. Alfredo along with his brother René Arteaga, nicknamed “La Rana”, are the regional leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel in Tijuana and neighboring areas.

It is suspected that both tunnels recently found are from the works of these two men. Aquiles often uses the “Captain America” cartoon on his dope packages to identify himself. Bundles of these were found in both tunnels.

A reputed sicario (hitman) was apprehended after the first tunnel was found. Jehová Israel Ilhuicatzi, “El Cuervo”, was the top enforcer for Aquiles and his brother La Rana. It is unclear if the discovery of the tunnel lead to his arrest. It is also unclear if the first tunnel led to the discovery of this tunnel, but I would say its likely considering its the same crew in charge.

15 million dollars was also found sitting in a vehicle near downtown Tijuana. Will the recent seizures of the high dollar tunnels, drugs, and money, lead to the demotion of Arteaga brothers?
The amount of drugs and people that can be moved flawlessly through these tunnels is unimaginable. The number of guns and money that flows into Mexico from the tunnel would be unreal as well. It would be a seamless stream back and forth. The underworld working day and night, right under one of the most highly patrolled areas in the world.

When I last stayed in Otay Mesa (the area where the tunnels were found), I drove around the warehouse district for some time. There was semi’s parked everywhere. Semi’s were coming and going at all hours of the night. A large semi can pull inside a warehouse, load up, and be on the interstate within minutes.

Two worlds separated by a border, are connected underneath it. How many more of these tunnels are operating below are feet as you read this?

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