If everyone had kept quiet, it could have been the most valuable parking spot on earth. Convenient only to the careworn clothing stores clustered in the southern end of downtown Nogales, Ariz., it offered little to shoppers, and mile-long Union Pacific (UNP) trains sometimes cut it off from much of the city for 20 minutes at a time. But the location was perfect: In the middle of the short stretch of East International Street, overshadowed by the blank walls of quiet commercial property, the space was less than 50 feet from the international border with Mexico.
On Aug. 16, 2011, just before 3:30 p.m., three men sat in a white Chevrolet box truck parked near the Food City supermarket on Grand Court Plaza. In the driver’s seat was Anthony Maytorena; at 19, Maytorena already had an impressive criminal record, and a metal brace on one arm as a result of being shot while fleeing from local police three years earlier. Locked in the cargo compartment behind him were two boys from Nogales, Sonora, the Arizona town’s twin city on the other side of the border—Jorge Vargas-Ruiz, 18, and another so young that his name has never been released. Together they drove over to International Street, where two cars were holding the parking spot for them.
Maytorena parked the truck, climbed out, and—watched by a spotter gazing down from high up in the hills on the Sonoran side of the border—sauntered around the corner. Inside, the two teenagers lifted a hatch in the floor of the cargo compartment; beneath, in the steel box that had once contained the truck’s refrigeration unit, was a trapdoor that opened less than a foot above the street.
On a word from the spotter, men underground lowered a camouflaged circular plug of concrete held in place by a hydraulic jack, revealing a hole just 10 inches in diameter. The hole opened into a tunnel 3 feet square and 90 feet long, leading to a room in an abandoned hotel on the Mexican side of the border. It took less than 40 minutes to transfer 207 tightly wrapped bundles of marijuana from the San Enrique hotel to the back of the truck: more than 2,600 pounds in all, conservatively valued at just over a million dollars.
U.S. Border Patrol agents and officers of the Nogales Police Department rode slowly past the truck while the transfer took place. None of them noticed anything unusual. Customs officers manning the pedestrian border crossing at the end of the street continued their work as normal. With the cylindrical plug jacked back into place, the boys in the back of the truck used a caulking gun to close the seam around it with concrete sealant. Once again, the tunnel entrance in the parking space was invisible. As the truck pulled away at a little before 4:30 p.m., it had begun to rain. Behind the wheel, Maytorena almost certainly believed the tunnel operation had been yet another audacious success.
Crime has been coming up out of the ground in Nogales for a while now. Since 1995 more than 90 illicit underground passageways have been discovered in various states of completion in the two-mile stretch of urban frontier that separates Arizona’s Nogales from its far larger twin in Sonora. Twenty-two complete tunnels have been found in the past three years alone. Streets have opened up beneath unwary pedestrians and subsided under heavy vehicles; the city has become infamous as the Tunnel Capital of the Southwest.
American Hospital Directory: Free Hospital Profiles “The American Hospital Directory provides operational data, financial information, utilization statistics and other benchmarks for acute care hospitals.”
The Revenue Marine Service, established in 1790 by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, later became the Revenue Cutter Service and then, in 1915, merged with the U.S. Lifesaving Service (formed in 1878) to become the U.S. Coast Guard. It is the part of the military service charged with the enforcement of maritime laws. – Provided by Reference.com
Man texts, “I need to quit texting,” before driving off cliff…
A college student from Texas believes he is lucky to be alive after a terrible crash. He was texting and driving when his truck flew off of a cliff.
Chance Bothe’s truck plunged off of a bridge and into a ravine. One of the last things he typed indicated what almost happened to him.
He wrote, “I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident.”
After the crash, Chance had a broken neck, a crushed face, a fractured skull, and traumatic brain injuries. Doctors had to bring him back to life three times . Now, 6 months later, he’s finally able to talk about what happened.
Carbonite famously dropped Rush Limbaugh on a Saturday Night at the height of the Sandra Fluke controversy. Carbonite became the poster child for the Rush boycott movement organized by Media Matters, whichcoordinated the effort with so-called independent groups.
At the time I examined Carbonite’s SEC filings, and how Carbonite had built its business model based on high growth driven, in significant part, by the promotion of Carbonite by Limbaugh. I predicted that Carbonite had shot itself in the foot, and put political correctness before the interests of its shareholders.
Since that time the Stop Rush effort has imploded, with backstabbing and accusations among the participants. Limbaugh has had better numbers than ever, and the hype surrounding Mike Huckabee as a Limbaugh replacement has gone flat.
Yet what became of Carbonite?
On August 1 Carbonite released its 2d Quarter 2012 results, the first full quarter after dropping Limbaugh in March. The results shocked Wall Street, as Carbonite did not meet its growth targets, causing multiple analysts to drop the target price. The stock dropped 15% in a day. (h/t reader W)
Most important, in a conference call held on August 1, the CEO David Friend admitted that dropping Limbaugh damaged Carbonite’s growth, and is likely to do so for at least one or two more quarters.
Wrong Way Jailbreak
Most people try to break out of jail, but one Ohio woman recently decided to buck the trend and try and sneak herself in. She was caught trying to climb over a fence into the jail and refused to comply with officers’ orders to stop and leave the property. Instead, she insisted they arrest her. Ultimately, the woman got her wish and was taken into custody. Officials are not sure what prompted the bizarre behavior but say alcohol may have been a factor.
The Kurds: The Middle East’s Wild Card?
As the battle for Damascus rages, the Kurds are positioning themselves to exploit the growing security and power vacuum in Syria, to the detriment of Turkey. Last week, Syrian Kurds raised their flag over several towns located on Syria’s border with Turkey. In addition, Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) — which Turkey considers a branch of the Workers Union Party (PKK) that has been fighting a separatist war against Ankara since the 1980s — reportedly abandoned its presumed alliance with the Syrian regime and is now the main Kurdish group responsible for seizing territory inside Syria.
This is not to say, however, that Syria’s Kurdish rebels are siding with the broader revolt. Indeed, they remain suspicious of the opposition. But these developments indicate that trouble may be brewing for Syria’s neighbor, Turkey.
Fearing that an autonomous Kurdish region in Syria, or even emboldened Syrian Kurds, could support the armed Kurdish PKK in Turkey, Ankara launched a series of military exercises near the border with Syria on Wednesday in an apparent bid to intimidate the rebels. Ankara went even further when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey will not tolerate a Kurdish operated region in Syria and that his country would attack any base that houses Kurdish separatists inside the embattled neighboring country.
Rebels: Iranian combatants in Syria to aid Assad..
Syrian rebel leader says over 3,000 Iranian snipers have arrived in Damascus to join the Syrian regime’s ranks; army no longer trusts local troops, he claims.
Over the past few weeks more than 3,000 Iranian snipers have arrived in Damascus to aid the forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, Al-Arabiya reported, citing a leader of one of the rebel groups operating in the civil war-torn country.
The head of the Joint Military Council, one of the groups fighting to maintain control of the city of Aleppo, told the Dubai-based television network that the Syrian army no longer trusts its local troops, who are now considered potential defectors.
Meanwhile, a former Syrian soldier who defected from Assad’s ranks to join the rebels claimed that the embattled Syrian president is staying in an underground hideout located in a mountainous area behind his Damascus palace.
According to Khaled al-Hamoud, the building belongs to the president’s brother, Maher Assad, and his wife.
Raoul Wallenberg (1912)
In 1944, as Nazi troops rounded up hundreds of thousands of Jews in Hungary, Wallenberg—a Swedish citizen who had previously worked for a company run by a Hungarian Jew—asked to be posted there as a diplomat. Once there, he worked relentlessly to save tens of thousands of Jews by sheltering them on Swedish property and distributing counterfeit Swedish passports. He was arrested by the Soviets in 1945, and his death while in their custody is shrouded in mystery. What might have happened to him?