Authorities carried out a drug bust worth nearly $30 million from an underground tunnel at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Perhaps, drug dealers are inspired by the famous saying that “when the going gets tough, only the tough get going” as they seem to work harder and make tougher decisions when smuggling illegal drugs becomes difficult.
For drug dealers on the other side of “The Wall,” working harder means building a ventilated drug tunnel with underground rail system and lighting that extends more than 2,000 feet from a warehouse in Tijuana to a warehouse in the Otay Mesa neighborhood.
The tunnel was about three-feet wide through most of the passageway and was 31 feet deep.
As a result of the advanced construction of the passageway, including reinforced walls, agents believe the tunnel has existed for several months before its discovery.
The task force, which includes members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with the Secretaria de la Defensa Nacional and Fiscalia General de la Republica, located the tunnel’s entrance in Mexico.
The task force then obtained a federal search warrant for a warehouse in Otay Mesa, where the exit point in the United States was found On March 19.
John W. Callery, a Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, believes that this discovery shows the commitment and dedication of the task force to locate and shut down these drug trafficking tunnels.
“These tunnels show the determination of drug trafficking organizations to subvert our border controls and smuggle deadly drugs into our community. But these recent tunnel seizures also show the dedication of our amazing partners on the San Diego Tunnel Task Force to locate and shut down these tunnels to keep our communities safe.”
Illegal drugs With An Estimated Street Value Of $29.6 Million Were Uncovered Inside The Tunnel
New York Times reports that Federal agents (the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) on the San Diego Tunnel Task Force made the discovery and also seized roughly 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 17 pounds of heroin, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, more than two pounds of fentanyl and 3,000 pounds of marijuana.
The illegal drugs that were discovered in this tunnel, which include 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 3,000 pounds of marijuana, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, and two pounds worth of fentanyl, had an estimated street value of $29.6 million.
The DEA reports that this is one of the largest hauls of illegal drugs found in a single tunnel in recent years.
“The large seizure of mixed drugs represents the first time in San Diego’s history, where five different types of drugs were found inside a tunnel.”
An investigation by San Diego’s Tunnel Task Force into a transnational criminal organization that was involved in drug-smuggling operations in Otay Mesa led to the discovery of the cross-border drug tunnel.
Although five different types of drugs were found inside the tunnel, no arrests were made during the operation.
Longest Smuggling Tunnel Found At U.S.-Mexico Border
A supervisory Border Patrol agent, Jeff Stephenson, said since 1993, more than 70 similar drug tunnels had been discovered around the San Diego area.
One of these discoveries happed in January 2020, when a drug tunnel stretching 4,309 feet and connecting Mexico to the U.S. was found.
That tunnel, which was located in the same area as this most recent discovery, was built 70 feet deep underground and was similarly well-constructed.
The 4,309 feet-long tunnel is nearly a mile, between the outskirts of San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. It had rudimentary rails stretched along the ground, electricity cables, ventilation tubes that ran along the rough-hewed walls and an elevator.
In a statement, the acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego, Cardell T. Morant, explained that the sophistication of this tunnel demonstrates the lengths that drug dealers are willing to go in order to advance their criminal activities.