U.S. authorities discover drug-smuggling tunnel beneath California-Mexico border

U.S. authorities discover drug-smuggling tunnel beneath California-Mexico border

Thousands of pounds of cocaine and marijuana have been seized from a drawn out cross-border tunnel in Otay Mesa along the California-Mexico border, U.S. authorities have confirmed.

Authorities told reporters that U.S. Patrol officers discovered a 2,622-foot-long tunnel at the international border of the two countries. It started under a house in Tijuana, Mexico, and ran to an industrial lot (a wooden pallet business) in Otay Mesa, roughly twenty miles southeast of San Diego.

Patrol officers seized 2,242 pounds of cocaine, valued at $22 million, and 14,030 pounds of marijuana, from inside the highly sophisticated tunnel. Its exit in the U.S. was a three-foot-diameter hole that was often covered by a huge dumpster.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said, “On the surface, few would ever suspect that traffickers were moving multi-ton quantities of cocaine and marijuana worth tens of millions of dollars in such an unassuming way, through this rabbit hole in the ground, in full view of the world around it.”

More than six dozen cross-border tunnels have been discovered by U.S. security officers in the past five years, and a large majority of those drug smuggling tunnels were in California and Arizona.

Six people have been arrested in San Diego in connection with the latest discovery of the drug smuggling tunnel. The suspects face various drug smuggling and trafficking charges, including conspiracy to use a border tunnel and conspiracy to import and distribute hard drugs.