- A sophisticated drug smuggling tunnel was discovered by law enforcement authorities running between Tijuana and San Diego.
- The 1,744 foot long is just one of more than a dozen tunnels found in that area over the past two decades.
- Read more news about crime here.
The United States Department of Justice struck another blow in the never ending whack-a-mole game that is the war on drugs this past week when law enforcement officials discovered a major drug smuggling tunnel running from Tijuana to San Diego.
The 61 foot deep drug smuggling tunnel ran for 1,744 feet (close to one third of a mile) between Mexico to a warehouse location near San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing named Amistad Park. It featured rail and ventilation systems, electricity and reinforced walls.
1,762 pounds of cocaine, 164 pounds of methamphetamine and 3.5 pounds of heroin were seized from the tunnel. Six Southern California residents were charged with conspiring to distribute the three drugs in the United States.
“The tunnel was discovered just after midnight on Friday by U.S. law enforcement officials from Homeland Security Investigations who were conducting surveillance on a National City residence that was previously used as a stash house in a cocaine smuggling event on March 2,” read a Department of Justice press release.
U.S. authorities announced the discovery of a major drug smuggling tunnel on Mexico's border town of Tijuana, running the length of a football field from San Diego to a warehouse in an industrial area. More details here: https://t.co/coHhc3rs6N pic.twitter.com/kh5Et66YcE
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) May 17, 2022
How the drug smuggling tunnel was discovered
The bust came when U.S. law enforcement officials followed two of the female suspects and witnessed them retrieving large cardboard boxes from a dumpster and putting them into a pickup truck.
“The women then entered the Harbor Freight Tools store and purchased wheeled carts that are typically used to move heavy items, the complaint said,” the press release continued. “They later returned to the residence in the pickup truck and removed the boxes from the back of the pick-up bed and carried them inside the residence. At about 1:20 p.m., [one of the suspects] left the residence and drove to a Walmart store, where she purchased additional cardboard boxes and transported them back to the residence.”
The other female suspect was then witnessed by officials driving the pickup into the bay of the warehouse located approximately 300 feet north of the U.S.-Mexico border fence.
Five other vehicles were also witnessed coming and going from either the residence, the warehouse or both. All were stopped and drug seizures were made. The tunnel was later discovered in a search of the warehouse.
“There is no more light at the end of this narco-tunnel,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “We will take down every subterranean smuggling route we find to keep illicit drugs from reaching our streets and destroying our families and communities.”
This is the 90th underground drug smuggling tunnel to have been discovered in the Southern District of California since 1993. 27 of these have been considered sophisticated.