SAN DIEGO (AP) — Prosecutors say an operative for Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel has been indicted in San Diego on charges alleging he oversaw construction of two major cross-border drug tunnels.
The indictment unsealed Wednesday in federal court accuses Jose Sanchez Villalobos of building and financing one tunnel found in November 2010 that netted about 22 tons of marijuana. The other tunnel discovered a year later brought in 32 tons of marijuana.
Prosecutors say Sanchez Villalobos is the highest-ranking cartel operative linked to the tunnels, which have proliferated along the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years.
The Mexican army arrested Sanchez Villalobos in January in connection with the seizure of $15.3 million three months earlier in Tijuana, Mexico. Mexican authorities call him an operative for the Sinaloa cartel in Baja California and Jalisco states.