Federal authorities hit the jackpot Wednesday night, uncovering the largest, most advanced drug tunnel in the San Diego area in the past two years.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs officials discovered a highly sophisticated tunnel used to smuggle drugs from Tijuana, Mexico into San Diego.” (Via ABC)
“A drug tunnel almost four football fields long with sophisticated engineering, an elevator, electricity, ventilation and a rail system.” (Via CNN)
Officials arrested three suspects, who face federal charges, and found more than 17,000 pounds of marijuana and 325 pounds of cocaine. (Via U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, says the drugs were worth about $12 million.
CNN reports the tunnel connected to a warehouse in a California industrial park. U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy says one of Mexico’s most notorious criminal groups, the Sinaloa cartel, was the mastermind behind it.
But Duffy has words of warning to the cartel and others attempting to build other tunnels.
"The cartels have spent years and tens of millions of dollars trying in vain to create an underworld of secret passageways to move huge quantities of drugs at will. We have a message for the builders, financiers and operators of these sophisticated tunnels: if you continue to go underground, you will find your world collapsing around you." (Via U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
According to ICE, federal authorities have discovered more than 75 smuggling tunnels in California and Arizona over the past five years. This specific incident marks the first time cocaine was recovered in connection with one of the tunnels.
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