1. “I’m Going to Get You High, Dude!” Marijuana Bust in Mexico – $425 Million
In what has to be the most comical and misguided marketing campaign in history, not to mention the biggest drug bust to ever take place in Mexico, 105 tons of pot, most of it packaged with colorful cartoon labels, was seized after a pre-dawn gun battle with cartel members in 2010. 10,000 colorful packages of weed, some of which were labeled with bulls, wolves, arrows, and other symbols (the packaging label and color-code designates where the package is to be shipped) were hidden in cargo containers in a warehouse in Tijuana. However, in a clear sign cartel members were tasting a little of their product, some of the drug packages were designed with a picture of Homer Simpson, proudly declaring, “Voy de mojarra, que wey!” Translation: “I’m going to get you high, dude!”
2. The Spin Buldak Bust, Afghanistan – $400 Million
The War on Drugs and the War on Terror intersected in Spin Buldak, a region 25 miles from the Pakistani border. The Afghan National Police Special Task Force uncovered a stockpile of hashish said to weigh as much as 30 double decker London buses. 261 tons of the tarry, marijuana concentrate was concealed in trenches and caves. The Taliban is known to fund its operations and purchase weapons from finances accrued from the drug trade, and sources believe $14 of the $400 million hashish stockpile was to be funneled to the terror group.
3. 30 Tons of Hashish – $300 Million
Hashish is clay-like substance made by collecting the resin from the cannabis plant’s leaves and stems. The resin is then compacted into a solid form, similar to the packages of cocaine bricks, for easy weighing and transport. In 2010, 30 tons of the drug was seized in Afghanistan by joined forces after it was found in a series of underground bunkers. It was also discovered that money from the sale of the meth was to be used to help finance the Taliban, a terrorist organization known for their attacks in both the Middle-East and Western countries.
4. Busloads of Hash, 2008
The War on Terror intersected with the War on Drugs in this bust, which netted a whopping 260 tons of hashish, or roughly equivalent in weight of about 30 double-decker buses—and worth about $350 million. With that much hash tucked inside a bunch of trenches and bunkers, the military found it most feasible to save on man-hours and call in an airstrike: “two aircraft were brought in to destroy the underground bunker in which the hashish was being stored.” Now that’s a full-scale operation.
5. Tons of Tijuana Terpenes, 2010 – $215 Million
Needless to say, the Mexican border towns are some of the hottest areas in the drug business, with cartels conspiring to push tremendous amounts of illegal substances into the United States. The hugest marijuana bust to ever happen in Mexico took place in Tijuana in 2010. Early one October morning, police and soldiers stormed a warehouse and got into a gun battle with cartel soldiers. Once the crooks were routed, the cops were stunned to find 105 tons — 10,000 packages — of marijuana, color-coded by shipping region. One stack even had pictures of Homer Simpson on them saying, “I’m going to get high, dude” in Spanish. The total value was more than $215 million.
6. The Trans-Border Underground Railway
What the Trans-Border Railway drug bust lacks in monetary street value, the criminal enterprise makes up for in inventiveness, diligence, and low-fi sophistication. Taking a cue from America’s Underground Railroad, Mexican marijuana traffickers excavated a 1,800-foot tunnel beneath the Mexican-California border, and while borderland tunnels are nothing new, this clandestine passageway had ventilation, electricity, and a light rail system for easy transport. A suspicious truck led police to a Tijuana warehouse, where they uncovered the entrance to the tunnel. 30 tons of pot was seized. Estimated value: $21.2 million.
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