Federal agents seized almost $30 million in drugs which were being smuggled into San Diego via a half-mile long tunnel from Tijuana, authorities said Tuesday.
The confiscated narcotics included 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 — a total street value of about $29.6 million, officials said.
The seizure happened after agents on March 19 discovered a 2,000-foot-long underground railway linking warehouses in Tijuana and the Otay Mesa section of San Diego, according to statement by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The tunnel ran an average depth of 31 feet and included reinforced walls, ventilation and lighting, authorities said.
The roughly 4,400-pound discovery was made on the U.S. side of the tunnel and took more than a week to pull out, said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
An unspecified amount of drugs were pulled out by Mexican authorities on the southern end of the tunnel.
No one was immediately arrested and the investigation is continuing.
“These tunnels show the determination of drug trafficking organizations to subvert our border controls and smuggle deadly drugs into our community,” DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery said in a statement.
Callery pledged that his agents are still working hard to “keep our communities safe” despite “the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
“I hope this sends a clear message that despite the ongoing public health crisis,” Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego Cardell T. Morant said, “HSI and our law enforcement partners will remain resilient and continue to pursue criminal organizations responsible for the cross-border smuggling of narcotics into the United States.”
The operation was run by the San Diego Tunnel Task Force, which investigates underground smuggling in a joint of ICE, Homeland Security, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorney’s Office.