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Mexico marijuana bust weighs in at 134 tonnes

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 12:17

Tijuana: The marijuana seized in Mexico`s biggest bust ever weighed in at 134 tonnes, nearly 30 tonnes more than initially reported, authorities said.

Mexican security forces made the massive seizure on Monday after a shootout with traffickers, 11 of whom were arrested, officials said.

"It totaled 134 tonnes. Yesterday it was estimated to be 105 tonnes, but the official weighing has now been concluded," Tijuana municipal police chief Gustavo Herrera told a news agency.

A source with the Mexican attorney general`s office also confirmed that the seized marijuana weighed 134 tonnes.

Some 15,300 packets of marijuana were counted, up from 10,000, a day after the drugs were found during raids on several houses in the border city of Tijuana following a shootout, security spokesman Alejandro Poire told a news conference.

"This is the largest seizure in the country`s history of marijuana prepared and packed for sale and distribution," Poire said.

"There are signs that (the drugs) are linked to the Pacific organization," Poire said, referring to another name for the Sinaloa gang led by Mexico`s most-wanted fugitive, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

In announcing the capture on Monday, General Alfonso Duarte said the drugs were worth about 335 million dollars on the Mexican street, but their value could double or triple if sold in the United States.

The seizure was a coup for Mexico`s President Felipe Calderon whose use of the military to crack down on the country`s drug cartels has been accompanied by soaring drug violence blamed for 28,000 deaths since 2006.

Across the border, residents of the US state of California are due to vote on November 2 on a referendum over whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 12:17

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