The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has discovered a 2,000-foot drugs tunnel that runs right underneath the border between the USA and Mexico, as well as a huge haul of drugs worth nearly $30m (£23m).

The tunnel was discovered on 19 March, running deep beneath the Mexican city of Tijuana into the Otay Mesa area of San Diego.

It is thought to have been built some months ago, and once the law enforcement staff got inside they found 3,000lbs (1,360kg) of marijuana, 86lbs (39kg) of methamphetamine, 1,300lbs (590kg) of cocaine, 17lbs (8kg) of heroin, and 2lbs (900g) fentanyl for good measure.

That’s a lot of drugs, and it’s the first time a tunnel discovered in San Diego has yielded five different types of narcotic.

31-feet deep

Drugs tunnel entrance
Drugs tunnel entrance

As or the tunnel itself, it’s something of a feat of engineering. The transnational cartel that dug it made sure that it is 31 feet underground and around three feet wide throughout the whole length.

On top of that, the tunnel has a rail system installed, a full ventilation system, lights and fortified walls. All of that combined created an easy passage into the USA for those wishing to cart a load of drugs in.

Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations San Diego, Cardell T. Morant, said: “I’m proud of the excellent work performed by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents, as well as U.S. Border Patrol and Drug Enforcement Administration agents as integrated partners of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force. Their tenacity made the difference in shutting down this tunnel.

Covid-19 won’t stop drug law enforcement

“‘I hope this sends a clear message that despite the ongoing public health crisis, HSI and our law enforcement partners will remain resilient and continue to pursue criminal organisations responsible for the cross-border smuggling of narcotics into the United States.”

drugs tunnel
Drugs tunnel

The US agencies were helped in their mission by the Mexican Attorney General and the Secretariat of National Defence in order to find the tunnel entrance.

Once they’d figured that out, they asked a judge to grant a warrant to search a warehouse, where the tunnel’s exit was discovered.

US Attorney Robert Brewer said: “If cartels keep spending millions of dollars building tunnels, we will keep finding and filling them.

“This time, we seized a jaw-dropping $30 million worth of dangerous drugs that aren’t going to reach the streets…

“This takedown is even more significant in the face of a global pandemic, where stopping the movement of unauthorized people and packages across international borders is of utmost importance.”


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