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Tunnel leads to prison Neal Putnam | Sat, Mar 03 2012 12:00 PM

A Chula Vista man has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for a marijuana conspiracy that involved the discovery of a narcotics tunnel in an Otay Mesa warehouse in 2010 that went underground into Mexico.

Fernando Javier Alarid, 40, was found guilty by a jury in U.S. District Court of conspiracy to distribute and import marijuana, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

The retail value of the marijuana that was seized in November 2010 was approximately $43 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Alarid purchased the forklift, truck and tractor used to transport the marijuana loads, according to the prosecution.

Judge Larry Burns noted that Alarid held a managerial role in the offense as he recruited the drug transportation team. He received an even 300-month sentence.

Convicted with Alarid was Pablo Anzaldo-Con­­treras of El Monte who was sentenced to 235 months in federal prison. Carlos Cunningham was also convicted and received a 260-month term.

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