Mexican Army Takes Down Large-Scale Meth Lab Near San Diego Border - NBC 7 San Diego

Mexican Army Takes Down Large-Scale Meth Lab Near San Diego Border

The lab produced more than 400 pounds of meth daily, some of it smuggled into San Diego or sold to U.S. visitors by drug dealers on Tijuana streets

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    Officials Bust Tecate Meth Lab

    With continued coverage on the meth industry’s impact in San Diego, NBC 7 investigated where the product is coming from – in particular, a busted meth lab near Tecate. NBC 7’s Mari Payton has more. (Published Monday, May 13, 2019)

    Mexican authorities found 4 tons of black-market crystal meth -- and enough chemicals to make an additional 7.5 tons -- when they raided an abandoned laboratory a few miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border, near the City of Tecate.

    A reporter for NBC 7’s sister station, Telemundo 20, was there when soldiers with Mexico’s 67th Infantry Battalion -- some dressed in protective lab gear -- stormed the large-scale meth lab.

    The lab’s owners had used tree branches to hide their sophisticated operation.

    A spokesperson for the Mexican Army said the clandestine lab produced more than 400 pounds of crystal meth each day.

    The soldiers also found two marijuana fields on almost five acres near that illegal meth lab.

    Some of the meth made in those illicit labs is smuggled north across the border for sale on San Diego streets.

    Tijuana drug dealers also sell it on the streets and alleys on the Mexico-side of the border.

    Our Telemundo 20 photojournalist interviewed a Tijuana meth dealer who demonstrated how he packs small amounts of the drug into balloons, which he hides in his shoes and inside bags of snack chips, for street-corner sale.

    The dealer said some of his clients are Americans, who cross the border to buy methamphetamine for less than it costs in the U.S.