In a story fit for movie screens, police have found an underground drug-trafficking tunnel connecting an area in Tijuana, Mexico, to a warehouse in sunny San Diego, California. Last week, the tunnel was discovered after police staked out a home used to stash drugs in Tijuana and stopped vehicles near the warehouse south of San Diego in Otay Mesa.
Upon the police pulling potential drug-smuggling vehicles, they discovered a heaping mix of 1,762lb (799kg) of cocaine, 164lb (74kg) of methamphetamine, and 3.5lb (1.5kg) of heroin. Officials took six people into custody on drug-trafficking charges. Prosecutors say that before the discovery, officers saw several vehicles come and go from the property in Tijuana and the warehouse on Friday, May 13. After conducting a proper search, drugs were seized, and arrests were made.
The warehouse was on a busy street during the day but quiet at night, with armed guards watching over a small shaft with a ladder that descended into the tunnel. When officers entered the warehouse, the tunnel exit point was found carved out of the floor. This is the first discovery of a border-crossing underground tunnel in California since 2020. BBC claims that 90 of these secret passageways have gotten uncovered since 1933.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California said the tunnel was 61ft (18m) deep and 4ft (1m) wide. Shocking many, the tunnel was equipped with a rail track, electricity, reinforced walls, and a ventilation system. Although it is unknown how long the tunnel has been in use, the up-to-date lighting and rail track lead many to think the trail had been around for years, if not decades.
The suspects in question are between the ages of 31 and 55. They could face a life sentence in prison and be obligated to pay a $1m fine if found guilty.