On Wednesday, authorities announced that federal agents unearthed the longest Mexico-California underground tunnel yet. Agents found a ton of cocaine and seven tons of marijuana in the tunnel.
Six people were arrested as authorities in San Diego moved on Monday and Tuesday to shut down the tunnel, the 13th underground passageway discovered along California’s border with Mexico since 2006.
The 870-yard-long tunnel, one of the narrowest found in the region, also yielded an unprecedented cache of drugs.
“This is the largest cocaine seizure ever associated with a tunnel,” said Laura Duffy, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California.
The latest tunnel, excavated 46 feet beneath the surface, ran from the bottom of an elevator shaft built into a house in Tijuana to a hole in the ground on the U.S. side enclosed within a fenced-in lot set up as a pallet business. The hole was concealed under a trailer-sized trash dumpster that smugglers used to move the drugs off the lot, federal officials said.
“They put the drugs in the dumpster and then hauled the dumpster to another location to unload it,” Duffy said. Agents tracked the dumpster being delivered to a spot 25 miles north of the border and observed the dumpster being loaded onto another truck.
When San Diego sheriff’s deputies stopped the truck, they arrested three people and found 2,242 pounds of cocaine and 11,030 pounds of marijuana.
“The investigation began with an astute border patrol agent who identified this business as suspicious,” Duffy said. “They began monitoring this location and saw the people here conducting dry runs.”