By Erica Laster                                                                                                                             Impunity Watch Reporter, North America
SAN DIEGO, United States – Thursday morning, authorities discovered a half mile underground tunnel running from a Mexican residence in Tijuana to a warehouse in San Diego, California.  Of the 75 drug tunnels found to date, this one, 90 feet deep and equipped with rail tracks and carts, appeared to be the most sophisticated.  Several suspects and truck drivers were arrested at the scene and approximately 20 tons of marijuana have been seized. 
Authorities discover 75th tunnel used to transport drugs from Tijuana to California.  Photo Courtesy of the New York Times. Authorities discover 75th tunnel used to transport drugs from Tijuana to California. Photo Courtesy of the New York Times.

U.S. agents found one truck filled with over 27,000 600 pound packages of marijuana.   The tractor trailer received the load and traveled 60 miles north to Temecula, California, a border checkpoint where authorities finally arrested the driver.  Miguel Unzueta, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent indicated that “this is obviously not a Mom and Pop operation.  This is a major significant drug cartel working.”  Authorities also arrested the driver of a second box truck following the trailer which was filled with $13,500 in cash.  While they are now in federal custody, both drivers are United States citizens.

In the last four years, U.S. authorities have found 75 underground tunnels used to transport tons of marijuana and cash back and forth over the border undetected.  The most recent tunnel came equipped with both a lighting and ventilation system.  According to Unzueta, its sophistication as electrical outlets ran throughout the wood and cinderblock enforced tunnel. 

After alerting Mexican authorities of the tunnel, Mexican military discovered an entrance beneath the kitchen floor of a residence.  Investigators on both sides believe the Sinaloa Cartel, a major Mexican Cartel known for its violence, kidnappings and murders, to be behind the tunnel.

Drug Enforcement Administration agent Ralph Partridge reported that between this and the last tunnel found on November 2, the marijuana seized amounted to the equivalent of one marijuana cigarette for each of California’s 37 million residents. Assistant United States Attorney Alana Robinsons noted that while these tunnels are being used to distribute marijuana, “these transborder tunnels pose a significant threat to our national security as well.”

For more information please visit:

CNN – ‘Sophisticated’ border tunnel leads to seizure of tons of pot – 26 November 2010

NY Times – Drug Tunnel Is Found At Border – 26 November 2010

Washington Post – Sophisticated Drug Tunnel Found In San Diego – 25 November 2010

Author: Impunity Watch Archive