A total of 320 liters of liquid methamphetamine were seized today at a branch of parcel delivery service located in El Sauzal de Rodríguez, north of the city of Ensenada, which came from the neighbor State of Baja California Sur.
Federal Police elements seized 16 drums containing 20 liters each in the warehouse of a local company dedicated to land shipments, the corporation reviewed the shipment that was labeled as liquid cleaning products, however they found that they were actually filled with methamphetamine liquid, so they were confiscated and taken to the authority, the corresponding investigation folder being available to the Attorney General’s Office in Tijuana.
Typical Tender’s Camp
The Sinaloa Cartel’s Drug Plantations:
The Sierra de Ensenada remains a fertile field for illegal enervating crops. September is the month when marijuana is harvested the most; From January to September 2, the PEP has located and destroyed 14 marijuana and eight poppy plantations.
In a mountain area identified more with the transfer of enervants in light aircraft than with the crop, the State Preventive Police (PEP) and the Mexican Army destroyed the first marijuana plantation located this year between La Huerta and Real del Castillo. Baja California authorities attribute their property to the Sinaloa Cartel.
It was 3,503 feet above sea level, on a neighborhood road that leads to Rancho La Calabaza, at the coordinates North 32 ° 8 ′ 61 ”West 116 ° 15 ′ 160”, a site located about four hours from Ensenada .
Far is the opulent life that the big drug lords presume. Among the hills there are no sumptuous mansions, weapons with gold scales and diamond inlays; neither sports cars nor “trucks” of the year, much less big parties with alcohol, drugs in excess and voluptuous women.
Crop keepers spend months surviving in the middle of nowhere, without any luxury, in tents covered with dry branches, drinking well water, preparing their own food based on tortillas, tuna, beans, chili, soup.
“These people are accustomed to spending twenty days, a month, a month and a half in the mountains,” they regularly approach the basics to survive, they pick it up and return to the plantation, talks the PEP operational deputy director, Oziel García Hernández.
ZETA accompanied a group of civil and military personnel to document the process of eradication of plantations in a day of almost fifteen hours, between the road through dirt gaps through the hills, the walk to the exact point, the destruction of the plantations and return.
The planting was located on Friday, August 30, near the towns of La Huerta and Real del Castillo. A group of the PEP managed to find the three almost ready to harvest plantations, where together with the Second Regiment of Motorized Cavalry 42,200 plants of cannabis sativa were destroyed distributed in an area of 6,850 square meters.
In order to locate the three plantations, two days before the PEP and the Army found another “garden plot” in the area of Piedras Gordas, where they arrested Manuel “N”, 50 years old, originally from Durango, who took care of the planting.
According to the operative deputy director of the PEP, when in these operations a person is arrested, he provides information that is then processed and validated; their communication devices are also reviewed and the possible location of more sites is triangulated.
The Intelligence and Operational areas of the state corporation presume: “We work in the information process, we send Special Operations to make a survey, the site is located by GPS and support is requested from the Armed Forces.”
At daylight, shortly before seven in the morning, a convoy of state and military policemen heads towards the road that leads to Ojos Negros.
It is Saturday, August 31, the mission, to eradicate two marijuana plantations somewhere far away from the Sierra de Juárez, located a day earlier.
To reach the site it is necessary to travel to the town of Ojos Negros and pass through Puerta Trampa; The convoy does not go unnoticed among the locals who at that time already go to work or meet in the vicinity of the park to sell burritos and coffee.
Then the ascent begins on a narrow road, sometimes stony and with deep ditches. In others, full of talcum powder that permeates the eyes and pores of the nose.
On board a PEP patrol, along with two state agents, the temperature rises as the convoy progresses; After two hours of walking, the sun’s rays already burn the skin, the heat makes jets sweat and the constant hydration with water and energy drinks force to stop continuously to urinate.
The sides of the landscape only offer rocky hills, shrubs and small plants, without pines as in the area of Hanson Lagoon. Only vehicles break with the harmony of the site; almost no wind during the journey.
Constant ups and downs, sometimes plains conducive to the landing of planes loaded with drugs are located, a common activity in that part of the municipality and there are plenty of places.
The dirt road connects with the Guadalupe Valley and also with La Rumorosa; This avoids the military checkpoint located just before the entrance to Ojos Negros and crossing the entire city of Ensenada.
Around eleven o’clock in the morning you reach the point marked to descend from the units, two civilians with strobes, four beacons and an Army Hummer vehicle. Twenty PEP agents, headed by the deputy chief operating officer and ten elements of the Ministry of National Defense, between lieutenant, sergeant, capes and soldiers, make up a section (30 elements), prepare the equipment to walk to the exact site.
Some elements of the PEP and the Army establish security perimeter and remain on patrols, while the bulk of the team starts the trek through the stream, in groups of approximately four.
Armed with their rifles, gun, knives and machetes, they head to the plantations; the elements that were already in the area a day before direct the group.
About 50 minutes of walking on the descent of a stream and they reach the caretakers’ camp, a shed of branches and trunks, with stacked stones that serve as a table to prepare food.
Right at the entrance of the hut comes a hose that connects to a water well where the two caretakers were supplied, the agents intuit by the size of the tent found inside and the scattered utensils.
A casserole with dried up food, Maseca bags, cups, glasses, an almost finished aluminum foil roll, a plate with letter soup, tuna cans, seasoning, toothpaste, sanitary paper, a rechargeable cell phone battery and even bullets, are part of the utensils found in the place.
The soup prepared and still on the plate indicates that the caretakers fled from the site hastily, once the “ hawks” alerted them to the arrival of “ pepos ” and military to the area on Friday, August 30.
The march continues about 200 or 300 meters below until the first marijuana plantation is located on a slope of the stream covered with a bower so as not to be detected from the air.
It measures 80 × 20 square meters, a density of ten plants per square meter that gives a total of approximately 16,000 plants.
A few steps away is the largest plantation of 100 × 40 meters, with six plants per square meter to give an approximate of 24,000, also covered with branches. In this case some of the plants exceeded two meters in height.
The so-called “colas” were already in bloom, but they still lacked about three weeks to be harvested. It is believed that the herb was about four months old.
According to the experience of the military, between September and October is the season when marijuana is harvested the most, while the poppy is in the month of January.
Prior to the eradication of the largest plantation, the operational deputy director of the PEP orders combing the area to see if it occurs with another crop. A group of agents undertakes the search and 15 minutes later returns to reveal that there is a third at the turn of the hill, 25 × 50 meters, with five plants per square meter for a total of 6,260 plants.
Next to the largest plantation is a stone and a kind of coa, with which the caretakers kept track of the days spent on the hill; by the stripes, the agents calculate the age of the plants.
In the area there are three water wells from which the plantations are supplied by the drip irrigation system, through a hose.
Approximately at noon begins the eradication of the main plantation; between the military and the state, the plants are uprooted and stacked at various sites, while destroying the hose that crosses the entire crop.
While the eradication proceeds, a group forms a bonfire with dry branches and places the green plants on top to proceed to the incineration. A part of the bower that covers the plantation is destroyed in order to burn the drug so that the fire does not spread to other parts of the hill.
While the plants are consumed in fire, almost the whole group goes to the smallest planting to proceed in a similar manner.
Finally, medium for planting, ie soil, is destroyed using the same method. In each of the plantations, the elements collect evidence (plants), pack them to make them available to the Attorney General’s Office along with the Homologated Police Report.
In total 42, 200 plants were eradicated in an area of 6,800 square meters, which would have produced between 10 and 15 tons of marijuana, according to PEP calculations.
Around 2:30 pm, two and a half hours after the eradication began, the return begins uphill through the same stream, tired, sunny, with mild dehydration and few liquids.
Some of the agents begin to suffer cramps, sprains and thirst; Some choose to supply water in one of the wells located in the area of the plantations. The way back becomes longer, almost an hour and a half.
Once ready for the harvest, the “colas” (flowers) are cut, dried, compacted, placed in sacks that are then transported by mules or horses to another point where they are transferred to trucks or pick ups, from there they move to ranches or cabins where the process is finished, that is, it is pressed into packages with cinnamon tape.
Plant keepers enter and leave on foot or in mules. Transporting the drug already harvested takes several days because they usually do the same that protect the crops, to prevent more people from locating the area and there may be information leakage, according to the experience of the PEP.
The same footsteps of men or animals, empty bottles, broken branches, pieces of hose, give clues to the elements to be able to find the plantations, prior operational and intelligence work.
The authorities believe that camps such as that of the recent plantations are abandoned by their caretakers just before the deployment of police and military, after being alerted via short frequency radios; being accustomed to life on the hills, they learn to detect signals such as dust and birds flying.
As part of a comprehensive strategy to attack the problem in depth, the PEP participates in combat activities from cultivation, operators, transportation, supply routes and collection centers, said Oziel García Hernández.
Between July and August alone, the PEP and other corporations carried out five eradications of marijuana plantations in Ensenada, all related to each other, according to the authorities themselves.
Before September 2 of this year, 14 crops with 243,336 marijuana plants and eight crops with 2,445,000 poppy plants had been destroyed.
Currently working on information in the area of La Rumorosa, Testerazo, South Ensenada and rugged areas.
Marijuana Mexicana Still Profitable in the US ?
According to the military and state, the marijuana produced in this area has the United States as its destination.
– It is obvious that marijuana is still profitable for those who grow it, as seen on the site, but in the United States there are nurseries and a legal market for the enervant, even of better quality. Is Mexican marijuana still a business in the US? , ZETA asked of the command of the PEP.
“You have to see the situation. Marijuana that is produced legally in the United States is regulated, pays taxes, several controls are imposed; the rest is not, so the cost of illegal marijuana is minimal and the profit is large, ” García Hernández replied. In other words the black market still thrives despite de-criminalization of recreational use, medicinal use, legalization and regulations.