$30 million in drugs seized in tunnel under US-Mexico border

The nearly three-story-deep tunnel stretches for more than 2,000 feet (610 meters).

ICE agents make drug bust in Arizona desert (photo credit: JEFF TOPPING/REUTERS)
ICE agents make drug bust in Arizona desert
(photo credit: JEFF TOPPING/REUTERS)
Some 4,400 pounds (1,996 kilograms) of drugs were seized in a half-mile-long tunnel connecting San Diego with the Mexican city of Tijuana CNN reported on Wednesday, citing California authorities.

Uncovered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) federal agents in the southern Californian city, the nearly three-story-deep tunnel stretches for more than 2,000 feet (610 meters), linking two warehouses—one in San Diego and another in Tijuana.

With close to $30 million in drugs, the tunnel was reportedly constructed with sophisticated lighting, ventilation and rail systems, as well as reinforced walls.

According to CNN, the agents uncovered 1,300 pounds (590 kilograms) of cocaine, 86 pounds (39 kilograms) of methamphetamine, 17 pounds (8 kilograms) of heroin, 3,000 pounds (1,361 kilograms) of marijuana and two pounds (a kilogram) of fentanyl.

"These tunnels show the determination of drug trafficking organizations to subvert our border controls and smuggle deadly drugs into our community," Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery said.

"But these recent tunnel seizures also show the dedication of our amazing partners on the San Diego Tunnel Task Force to locate and shut down these tunnels to keep our communities safe," he added.

"Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, DEA employees continue to work tirelessly to serve and protect the community."

According to DrugAbuse, marijuana, which is legal in California, accounts for 99.5% of the drugs smuggled in the southwest. In the coastal border sectors, however, cocaine products account for 74.7% of the drug contraband. 

In 2018, the DEA reported that 84% of the cocaine movement into the US from South America in the previous year was in the Eastern Pacific.