U.S. officers have found a drug trafficking tunnel that zig-zags it’s way through the U.S. border ending in San Diego. According to authorities, the tunnel is about 800 yards long almost the size of eight football fields long.
Federal agents discovered the tunnel along with 2,000 pounds of cocaine valued at $22 million and over 14,000 pounds of marijuana estimated at $4.2 million.Although this is the largest tunnel found in the area is not the first.
Suspected drug trafficking
The tunnel that spreads from a little residential village in Tijuana to an Otay Mesa commercial lot was discovered by authorities thanks to suspicious behavior on the location that served as a wooden pallet distribution site as a cover-up in Otay Mesa.
Authorities were warned about possible drug trafficking and started monitoring the commercial site last fall. Border patrol officers began to feel suspicious when they saw large traffic on the site.
Officers saw a commercial truck deliver a dumpster filled with wood to another industrial lit, that was when the agents discovered, several days later, that was the entrance to the drug tunnel.
The called ‘rabbit hole’ was a sophisticated passage between California and Tijuana, spreading over 874 yards to the commercial lot, where the distribution took place. The tunnel had ventilation, lighting, rail system and was about three feet wide.
Inside the tunnel authorities found a large commercial elevator that made its way up to a closet inside the small Tijuana residential village. The elevator, according to authorities, could fit up to 10 people inside.
Laura Duffy U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California assures this is the “longest cross-border tunnel ever discovered. On the surface, few would ever suspect that traffickers were moving multiton quantities of cocaine and marijuana worth millions of dollars.”
The attorney for the Southern District labeled the tunnel as ‘unusual’ because traffickers used it for cocaine and not only marijuana. According to Duffy, tunnels are commonly used for marijuana because of the odor that makes it difficult to hide from authorities, while cocaine doesn’t have that issue.
Investigators are not sure when the tunnel was finished, workers near the San Diego commercial lot have assured the tenants arrived at the location nearly a year ago and sold wooden pallets at a cheap price.
This matter proves the work that needs to be done to enhance border protection,according to Hunter Davis- director of air operations for Customs and Border Protection- “This case is a strong reminder of the vulnerabilities that exist along the Southwest border.”
After border patrol, officers found the entrance to the tunnel six people were arrested on drug charges. Other similar, yet smaller tunnels have also been found in the area since 2006.