Mexico-US Drug Tunnel – Mexico and US Authorities say they seized more than 32 tons of marijuana in connection with a tunnel linking warehouses in Otay Mesa and Tijuana to transport drugs.
“This is the most elaborate and sophisticated drug smuggling tunnel that has ever been discovered along the California and Mexico border,” said San Diego’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Derek Benner.Â “It is also the largest narcotics seizure ever associated with a single tunnel investigation.”Â
The multi-agency San Diego Tunnel Task Force discovered an entrance to the drug tunnelÂ Tuesday in a warehouse in the Otay Mesa area.Â It was the second such cross-border tunnel found in the last two weeks.
ItÂ was equipped with a hydraulic elevator that lowered drugs to electric rail cars that transported heavy loads of drugs from the Mexican warehouse to Otay Mesa.
“The tunnel is over 600 yards long with reinforced walls and a solid wood floor,” said Benner.Â “An elaborate set of wooden stairs was constructed on the U.S. side to exit the tunnel.”
“The message is very clear,” said Southern District of California U. S. Attorney Laura Duffy.Â “If you build it we will find it, and when we find it we will destroy it.Â We’ll seize ton quantities of your narcotics and we’ll arrest your workers.”
On Nov. 15, authorities found another underground passage way connecting a warehouse near the Otay Mesa border crossing and a warehouse 400 yards south in Tijuana. They found about 15 tons of marijuana in the two warehouses and a truck trailer that they followed from the Otay Mesa warehouse. Federal authorities have found more than 75 underground cross-border smuggling passages in the last four years, with most of them in California and Arizona.