The highway to San Diego, California.
Latin America: Week in Review, Mexico, United States

Drug Tunnel Discovered Between San Diego and Tijuana; Feds Seize 20 Tons Of Pot

November 4, 2010 By Staff

The highway to San Diego, California.

Today in Latin America

Top StoryUnited States authorities in San Diego discovered Wednesday an underground tunnel connecting two warehouses on the U.S.-Mexico border that was used to smuggle drugs.

Along with discovering the tunnel, authorities also seized over 20 tons of pot, in what is one of the largest marijuana seizures in the United States. Mexican authorities also confiscated four tons of pot from the warehouse on their side of the border in Tijuana.

The tunnel, which is more than 1,640 ft long, has a rail system, ventilation and lighting. The tunnel was raided after a 12-hour operation that began Tuesday night when authorities watching one of the warehouses under surveillance followed a tractor-trailer as it left the building.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents notified California Highway Patrol, who stopped the truck near Temecula and discovered ten pounds of pot. The driver, who is a U.S. citizen, and his Mexican wife were arrested and will be arraigned today in San Diego.

The size of the operation lead authorities to suspect that the tunnel was the work of a major Mexican drug cartel, especially as it comes two weeks after Mexican authorities discovered a record 134 tons of marijuana in an industrial area near Tijuana. Authorities are still unsure if there is a connection between the two events.

“I can promise you there are some very unhappy people in the cartel,” said John Morton, director of ICE, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Drug tunnels are frequently used by the Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs into the U.S., with the majority of the tunnels connecting cities on Mexico’s border with California and Arizona.

In 2006, U.S. federal agents discovered a tunnel measuring 2,400 feet under the same stretch of border from Tijuana to Otay Mesa, California. It holds the record for the longest such tunnel found to date.

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