Man Indicted in California Drug Tunnel Conspiracy

california drug bust

A local man has been indicted in connection with his alleged involvement in a conspiracy in which marijuana was smuggled into the United States through a cross-border tunnel between Mexicali, Baja California and Calexico, Calif.

Kenneth Wayne Olmos, Jr., 33, was one of six people indicted earlier this month by a federal grand jury in San Diego. Olmos was arrested in Arizona and subsequently released on a $50,000 bond, court documents show.

According to the complaint against Olmos, an investigation based on wiretaps and surveillance revealed that conspirators purchased a property near the border in Calexico with the purpose of building a home that would conceal the exit of a drug tunnel.

Media reports said the property, about 900 feet north of the border, was purchased in April 2015 for $240,000 and the two-bedroom, two-bath house was subsequently built for around $86,000. The tunnel was approximately 1,245 feet long and began at a restaurant in Mexicali, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.

The complaint against Olmos says that on March 4, approximately two months after the home was finished, a cargo van backed into the garage of a second home in Calexico that authorities say was used as a stash house for drugs brought through the tunnel. When the van left, it was accompanied by a red Dodge Ram truck allegedly driven by Olmos, and the two vehicles drove to a local warehouse.

The next day, a tractor-trailer pulled up to the warehouse and agents reportedly saw Olmos and others load it with multiple pallets of boxes. On March 7, the tractor-trailer dropped off the shipment at a warehouse in the Los Angeles area.

After federal agents received permission from the owner of the warehouse to inspect the boxes, they allegedly found approximately 1,350 pounds of marijuana hidden among rotten produce.

The warehouse owner reportedly told investigators that Olmos had arranged to have the load dropped off at the facility, and said he had received a call from Olmos to confirm its arrival. He said Olmos, whom he had known for approximately 15 years, was supposed to send him a message with the next destination of the boxes.

On March 23, federal officers executed search warrants at the two homes in Calexico and uncovered the entrance to the tunnel and more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana. The 23-year-old owner of the home that was built to conceal the tunnel, Agustin “Tinky” Enriquez Cruz, was arrested in Tucson, as was his grandmother, 74-year-old Eva Medina De Duarte. Two Mexican men, including one of Medina’s sons, were also arrested at the time.

Olmos and a 52-year-old woman from Rialto, Calif. were arrested shortly thereafter.

Olmos is named in eight counts of the 12-count indictment against the alleged conspirators. He faces two counts of possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana, two counts of maintaining/using drug-related premises, and one count each of conspiracy to import over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, conspiracy to distribute over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, importation of 100 kilograms of marijuana, and conspiracy to maintain/use drug-related premises. Originally posted here http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/local-man-indicted-in-california-drug-tunnel-conspiracy/article_02b784f8-04ff-11e6-88d4-53e602229560.html

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