Feds Unearth Catnip Smuggling Tunnel Between Gatos Cartel Stash House, Animal Control

EL PASO — The notorious Los Gatos catnip cartel used a 12km-long tunnel to smuggle their product directly into the big house, the FBI said on Friday after discovering the clandestine passage.

With an underground route leading to the basement of Animal Control, Los Gatos moved an estimated 125 pounds of catnip and 80 pounds of silvervine — with a street value of 32 cans of wet food per ounce — to inmates every week, according to the Feline Bureau of Investigation.

The slippery cartel couldn’t have constructed and operated the tunnel without the help of at least one animal control officer, authorities said.

“Our investigation indicates they had a man on the inside in addition to the cats who received the shipments,” Special Agent Purrlock Holmes said. “The raw product was brought into a sub-basement where it was cut with oregano and Moroccan mint, then bagged for distribution to the inmates.”

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Los Gatos is notorious for using young kittens as lookouts for their smuggling operations.

The animal control facility, which houses an estimated 230 cats in addition to more than 100 dogs, was placed on lockdown after Feline Bureau of Investigation agents raided the tunnels and facilities.

The sudden cut-off of catnip has precipitated withdrawal among the feline inmate population, overwhelming the facility’s medical staff.

“At least half our cats are suffering from acute withdrawal from catnip and silver vine,” said one doctor who declined to provide her name. “We’ve got cats throwing up in their cells, alternating between sweating and chills, and blowing up their own litter boxes with unprecedented eliminations. It’s not pretty.”

Los Gatos denied knowledge of or involvement in the tunnel in a statement provided by a spokescat.

“Like all organizations with a stake in our community, Los Gatos has been focused on keeping cats safe during this terrible pandemic,” the group wrote in the statement. “We are a charitable organization and we grow weary of these libelous and slanderous claims that we’re somehow involved in illicit activities. Thankfully we have a pretty good idea of who is spreading these vicious rumors, and that feline will be dealt with. In the kindest way, of course.”

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The tunnel terminates in a sub basement of animal control, where the product was cut and bagged.

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