Marijuana Seized From Drug Tunnel
A ton of cocaine and seven tons of marijuana were seized from a cross-border tunnel that stretched from a Tijuana, Mexico, home to a San Diego, California, suburb, U.S. authorities said Wednesday.
“We believe this to be the longest tunnel that we have discovered in this district to date,” said Laura Duffy, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California.
Authorities arrested six people and seized more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine and more than 14,000 pounds of marijuana. The cocaine is valued at around $22 million.
“We believe this to be the largest single seizure of cocaine related to a tunnel in the California-Mexico border,” Duffy said.
At about 3-feet wide, the tunnel measured the length of more than eight football fields (nearly a half-mile) and was equipped with lights, ventilation, a rail system and a motorized freight elevator capable of carrying up to 10 people, according to federal officials.
The six arrested in San Diego were charged with various drug trafficking and tunnel-related charges, including conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine and conspiracy to use a border tunnel.
Authorities said there have been more than a dozen secret passages found along California’s border with Mexico since 2006.
In the past five years, federal authorities have detected more than 75 cross-border smuggling tunnels, most of them in California and Arizona.
OTAY MESA, Calif. – A new drug tunnel was discovered at an Otay Mesa outdoor wood pallet storage facility Tuesday, marking the third such discovery in a month.
Border Patrol agents were seen standing outside the fenced-off Otay Pallets business lot on Marconi Drive, about 1000 feet from the Tijuana-San Diego border.
In Tijuana, federal officers were guarding a house east of the Tijuana airport in an area known as colonia Nueva Tijuana.
That is said to be the south point of the tunnel.
Authorities from the US Attorney’s Office would not comment on the investigation Tuesday afternoon although they’ve called for a news conference on Wednesday at the site.
One man who works in the area said he recently became suspicious of the pallet operation, which had been open for about a year.
“Once I saw them put up cameras inside I knew something was going on,” said the man who did not want to be identified.
He also said he believes agents found the tunnel on Sunday.
“They were here last night and the night before, I came in and was like what’s going on and they said they shut everything down.”
Last Friday, a cross-border tunnel was discovered near Calexico by an El Centro Sector Border Patrol agent who was conducting routine patrol duties, CBP agent stated. The agent noticed a depression in the soil along the banks of the All-American Canal, exposing an 18-inch hole with lumber and electrical wiring inside, according to the release.
About four weeks ago, four people were arrestedafter Border Patrol agents located an alleged secret drug tunnel underneath a three-bedroom house in Calexico, authorities said. The tunnel’s entrance was inside a restaurant in Mexicali, Mexico.
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