An American citizen who spent nearly six years in a Mexican prison for firearms trafficking only to be arrested in the United States upon his release pleaded guilty Monday in San Diego to conspiring to build and operate a cross-border drug-smuggling tunnel.
Habib Sayb Mujica, 35, admitted that he used illicit drug proceeds to rent a large warehouse in Imperial County and secure the machines and tools necessary to construct an underground passage to be used for illegal transportation of controlled substances.
To construct the tunnel, which was discovered by U.S. authorities in 2011, Mujica made use of a horizontal-drilling machine and a variety of other equipment, including alignment tools, pipes, a level tripod, a jackhammer, electric saws, a forklift, a hydraulic lift and air compressors, according to prosecutors.
Mujica also conceded in his plea agreement that he intended to operate a business called Baja Bikes as a front to conceal the unlawful activities he planned to undertake in the warehouse on West Second Street in Calexico.
Mujica was expelled from Mexico in May following his prison stint there and arrested by U.S. authorities shortly thereafter, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.
Mujica, a Calexico resident, will face maximum punishments of 40 years in prison and $750,000 in fines at his sentencing, scheduled for Nov. 27. He also faces gun charges in an unrelated criminal case.
–City News Service
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