On Monday, federal authorities announced the discovery of a massive “sophisticated cross-border tunnel” used to smuggle drugs running between San Diego, Calif., and Tijuana, Mexico. Officials seized 1,762 pounds of cocaine, 164 pounds of methamphetamine and 3.5 pounds of heroin.
U.S. law enforcement officials from Homeland Security Investigations found the tunnel around midnight on Friday while surveilling a National City residence that was previously used as a “stash house” for smuggling cocaine.
The tunnel is estimated to be roughly 1,744 feet long, 61 feet deep and 4-feet in diameter, with reinforced walls, a rail system, electricity and a ventilation system.
“There is no more light at the end of this narco-tunnel,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement “We will take down every subterranean smuggling route we find to keep illicit drugs from reaching our streets and destroying our families and communities.”
Six individuals who are all residents of Southern California were arrested and charged with cocaine trafficking. The defendants include Mario Jaramillo of Huntington Beach; Adrian Enriquez of Perris, Calif.; Juan Cruz of San Ysidro; and Vanessa Ramirez, Luz de Luna Olmos and Manuel Perez of San Diego.
Officials said Olmos and Ramirez are also charged with trafficking methamphetamine and heroin.
Grossman said the tunnel was located thanks to the “excellent work” of the prosecution team, HSI San Diego Costa Pacifico Money Laundering Task Force, and its partners from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Customs and Border Protection.
“This tunnel was discovered because of the patience and tenacity of federal agents who are passionate about protecting their communities from the scourge of drug addiction and related violence,” he said.
HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz said the law enforcement community in San Diego has “multiple investigative task forces that highly prioritize tunnel detection.”
“The San Diego law enforcement community throughout the years has consistently shown its ability to detect and remediate tunnels while bringing those responsible to justice,” he added.
According to the Department of Justice, 90 underground tunnels have been discovered in Southern California since 1993, with 27 of those being considered “sophisticated.”
Last week, former acting ICE Director Tom Homan warned that President Joe Biden’s lax border policies are “rewarding those who break our law.”
“We need to secure the border because a secure border saves lives, and you can’t have national security without border security,” Homan said, according to Fox News.