$30 million in drugs seized in ‘sophisticated’ border tunnel

‘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’

James Crump
Thursday 02 April 2020 00:19
Longest ever smuggling tunnel found on US-Mexico border

Nearly $30m in drugs have been seized from a tunnel connecting the US and Mexico.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement described the tunnel as “sophisticated” in a statement and confirmed that it led from Tijuana to a warehouse in San Diego.

The tunnel was 2,000ft long and 3ft wide, with an average depth of 30ft and was equipped with “reinforced walls, ventilation, lighting and an underground rail system.”

Authorities confirmed that the drugs were worth at least $29.6m and that “agents seized approximately 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, 3,000 pounds of marijuana and more than two pounds of fentanyl from the tunnel.”

Cardell Morant, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Diego, said that they hope the bust sends a strong message to those transferring drugs over the border.

“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,” he said.

The coronavirus outbreak is stopping people from working all over the world, but DEA Special Agent in Charge John Callery added that “despite the current Covid-19 pandemic, DEA employees continue to work tirelessly to serve and protect the community.”

In January, US and Mexican authorities uncovered the longest smuggling tunnel ever found at the two countries’ border.

The tunnel was 4,309ft in length and was significantly longer than one uncovered in 2006 that was the previous longest at 2,966ft .

Authorities also highlighted the sophistication of the that tunnel, with Mr Callery saying that “the sophistication of this tunnel demonstrates the determination and monetary resources of the cartels.”

Mr Morant added that “the sophistication and length of this particular tunnel demonstrates the time-consuming efforts transnational criminal organisations will undertake to facilitate cross-border smuggling.”

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