A drug smuggler in scuba diving gear, arrested in April on the banks of the All-American Canal near Calexico, California, pleaded guilty in San Diego on Wednesday August 19th to the charge of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.
Evelio Padillo, a Honduran citizen, was one of four divers spotted by U.S. Border Patrol agents who then discovered a drug smuggling tunnel that was partially under water.
The 45-meter-long tunnel began at a house in Mexicali, Baja California, and ended in a partially-submerged opening in the All-American Canal 11 kilometers east of Calexico.
The tunnel was equipped with rails and a trolley system which transported the well-wrapped packages of drugs down into the water and on to the edge of the canal.
When Padillo, 28, was arrested, agents found vacuum-sealed packages containing 25 kilograms of cocaine valued at US $1.5 million in his possession. They also found a breathing tank with a “rebreathing” system that prevented the appearance of bubbles on the surface.
“Drug smugglers will try anything to move their product — even scuba diving in an underwater tunnel,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement. “The ingenuity of the smugglers is matched only by our determination to thwart it.”
Padillo told the federal court that he had been offered work helping migrants cross the border, but was later told he would be smuggling drugs and was left with no option but to obey. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
An earlier story incorrectly reported that Padillo was found in possession of methamphetamine.
– Source: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/