The United States Drug Task Force discovered one of the longest cross-border drug trafficking tunnels on record. Authorities report that the 2,400 foot long tunnel, connecting the United States and Mexico from San Diego to Tijuana, was built by the Mexican drug cartel.
Federal agents seized 12 tons of marijuana and arrested 22 people tied to the sophisticated tunnel, which was lit, ventilated, and even equipped with its own rail system. The discovery of this passageway demonstrates the enduring appeal of tunnels to transport drugs from one country to another, despite the significant time and money required to build one.
The undercover police sting operation resulted in 6 arrests in San Diego and 16 in Tijuana, linking the two cities to an extremely large drug smuggling ring. Authorities seized two tons of marijuana from the US side of the tunnel and ten tons from Mexico. Smugglers reportedly attempted to move the first load of drugs through the tunnel, but nothing got through undetected.
The arrests were made after an undercover agent for U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agreed to provide the drug smugglers with drivers and a warehouse in exchange for a $10,000 payment for each truckload of drugs moved. In a released statement, US attorney Laura Duffy explained:
“We see a super tunnel open for business once every year or so. Just when they think they’re ready to move, we put it out of business. We continue to make good on our promise to relentlessly pursue and shut down any tunnel as soon as it opens.”
photo credit: Mexico Federal Police