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Major Drug Smuggling Tunnel Found Beneath US-Mexico Border

by : Cameron Frew on :
Major Drug Smuggling Tunnel Found Beneath US-Mexico Border
Major Drug Smuggling Tunnel Found Beneath US-Mexico Border (Department of Justice)

A drug-smuggling tunnel has been discovered near the US-Mexico border, equipped with a rail system and electricity.

The sophisticated passage is said to be one-third of a mile long, 61ft deep and 4ft in diameter. As well as its other fittings, it also has ventilation systems and reinforced walls.

The tunnel stretches from Tijuana, Mexico to a warehouse in Otay Mesa just east of the Port of Entry. It's believed the drugs were smuggled through an exit point carved out of the cement floor.

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The tunnel was fitted with a rail system and electricity. Credit: Department of Justice
The tunnel was fitted with a rail system and electricity. Credit: Department of Justice

It was discovered just after midnight on Friday, May 13, by Homeland Security officials conducting surveillance on a National City residence earlier used as a stash house in a cocaine-smuggling event.

As well as the the tunnel, the federal drug investigation resulted in charges being brought against six people for conspiring to distribute 1,762lb of cocaine. Law enforcement officials also found 164lb of methamphetamine and 3.5lb of heroin.

Mario Jaramillo, Adrian Enriquez, Juan Cruz, Vanessa Ramirez, Luz de Luna Olmos and Manuel Perez have all been charged with cocaine trafficking, while Olmos and Ramirez have also been charged with meth and heroin trafficking.

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The tunnel was found via a carved out hole in a warehouse. Credit: Department of Justice
The tunnel was found via a carved out hole in a warehouse. Credit: Department of Justice

In a statement, US Attorney Randy Grossman said: "There is no more light at the end of this narco-tunnel.

"We will take down every subterranean smuggling route we find to keep illicit drugs from reaching our streets and destroying our families and communities.”

Grossman also praised the work of the prosecution team, HSI San Diego Costa Pacifico Money Laundering Task Force and its myriad of partners who helped in uncovering the tunnel and drug haul.

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He said: "This tunnel was discovered because of the patience and tenacity of federal agents who are passionate about protecting their communities from the scourge of drug addiction and related violence."

The tunnel is one of nearly 30 'sophisticated' passages in the region. Credit: Department of Justice
The tunnel is one of nearly 30 'sophisticated' passages in the region. Credit: Department of Justice
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HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz also said: "The San Diego law enforcement community has multiple investigative task forces that highly prioritise tunnel detection – exemplified by this tunnel discovery by the Homeland Security Investigations San Diego led Costa Pacifico Money Laundering Task Force.

"The San Diego law enforcement community throughout the years has consistently shown its ability to detect and remediate tunnels while bringing those responsible to justice."

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This marks the first discovery of a drug-smuggling tunnel since 2020. Since 1993, there have been 90 subterranean passages discovered in the Southern District of California, 27 of which have been considered sophisticated.

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: News, Drugs, US News