In recent years, underground tunnels have been exposed as a method Mexican cartels use to transport drugs. Yesterday (April 20), authorities uncovered the 13th sophisticated drug tunnel along the California-Mexico border since 2006. According to ABC, the tunnel was “three feet wide, equipped with a rail system, lighting and ventilation.” As a result, investigators seized a ton of cocaine and seven tons of weed.
The tunnel originated at a house in Tijuana, with a large elevator, capable of holding eight to ten people, and littered with mattresses on the ground. The tunnel “zig-zagged” for 874 yards to a fenced commercial lot in San Diego, advertised as a wooden pallets business. The exit was covered by a trash can.
According to ABC:
Investigators didn’t know when the tunnel was completed. Margarita Ontiveros, who works at a law office next to the San Diego lot, said the tenants arrived about a year ago and often bought and sold wooden pallets.
“They loaded and unloaded a lot of pallets,” Ontiveros said. “They sold very cheap.”
Investigators began to monitor the lot daily last fall after Border Patrol agents assigned to the area saw heavy traffic and grew suspicious, said Duffy. The prosecutor said she was “fairly confident” that the first drug load was sent earlier this month but didn’t rule out the possibility that some got through undetected.
Six people were arrested in the San Diego area Friday on drug- and tunnel-related crimes, including one U.S. citizen, two Cubans who were granted asylum and three Mexicans who were legally entitled to be in the country, Duffy said.
Authorities saw a trash bin forklifted on to a truck at the San Diego lot on April 13 and followed it to a parking lot in San Diego, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations investigator said in a criminal complaint. Two days later, San Diego County sheriff’s deputies stopped a truck after it left the parking lot, seizing 2,240 pounds of cocaine and 11,030 pounds of marijuana.
Marijuana found in the tunnel and trash bin brought the total pot haul to more than seven tons, authorities said.
This tunnel is unique, because it was used to smuggle cocaine, when most are used solely for transporting weed. This is because weed is too bulky and smelly to sneak past border inspectors.