Authorities in San Diego say that drug runners have been moving cocaine and marijuana literally under their noses for some time now.
Members of the DEA, Customs and Border Protection and ICE found the nearly three-quarter mile long tunnel earlier this week south of the Otay Mesay crossing into Tijuana, Mexico. Entrances were hidden in two warehouses, one on the U.S. side and the other in Mexico.
The tunnels were buried about 35 feet down and “zig-zagged” (no pun intened) under the border. Inside the tunnel, cops say they found eight tons of marijuana and 325 pounds of blow.
This isn’t the first tunnel, authorities admit. In fact, in the San Diego-area alone there have been more than four dozen tunnels located and shut down. But it does mark the first time that cocaine has been found in one of the tunnels – which is somewhat surprising considering how ingenious the whole thing is.
Police managed to find out about the location after a box truck was pulled over after leaving one of the warehouses with several tons of cannabis inside. Another box truck was stopped leaving the warehouse with the cocaine, and police found the tunnel after searching the building.
Cops say the tunnel busted this week was “sophisticated” and called it a “supertunnel” that was four feet tall, three feet wide, had a rail system, ventilation and lighting. They estimated that the tunnel likely cost “tens of millions of dollars” to build over a considerable length of time and was likely shut down before it had a chance to pay off as an investment for the drug cartels.
Three men were arrested in connection with the arrests.
In typical bravado of drug cops, though, ICE officials issued a stern warning for the Sinaloa cartel, which they say was involved:
“If you continue to build and attempt to use these tunnels, we are determined to make this a big waste of your dirty money,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a press release. “Not only will we take your drugs and shut down your tunnels before you even get an opportunity to use them, but we’re now in a position where we’re going after your management.”
Others involved echoed her sentiment.
“We are by no means finished here,” ICE special agent Derek Benner said at a news conference. “Don’t say we didn’t warn you.”
We’re sure they’re shaking in their boots, and have been for some time. No doubt that’s why they’ve built DOZENS of these tunnels over the last few years, you jackass.
Drugs seized had a value of about $12 million. So, basically, the tunnel could have paid for itself in just one day and no telling how many days they were able to run drugs before it was shut down.