Border Agents Seize Nearly $30 Million In Drugs After Discovering 2,000-Foot Border Tunnel

Written by Wes Walker on April 2, 2020

Isn’t this exactly what Trump caught heat for referencing during his daily press updates?

When Trump took time out from one of his daily Chinese Coronavirus pressers to bring attention to the ongoing work of law enforcement still targeting drug networks to disrupt them, media critics dismissed it as unimportant or at best, unrelated.

But is it?

After all, Pelosi announced that she wanted to divert ALL wall funding into Coronavirus research. That’s not a cheap, cynical political play at all, right?

But we ARE still patrolling our borders, and with sections of wall built, we are able to deploy law enforcement resources more effectively. Because we’re no longer stretched as thin dealing with groups of a hundred or more in a single crossing point, we can catch things we might otherwise have missed in the confusion.

From the ICE press release:

“If cartels keep spending millions of dollars building tunnels, we will keep finding and filling them,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “This time, we seized a jaw-dropping $30 million worth of dangerous drugs that aren’t going to reach the streets. This is the most valuable single-day tunnel seizure in recent memory, and it is the largest seizure of multiple drugs in a single tunnel. This takedown is even more significant in the face of a global pandemic, where stopping the movement of unauthorized people and packages across international borders is of utmost importance.” Brewer praised the excellent work of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force in locating and dismantling yet another cross-border drug tunnel, especially the efforts of AUSA Orlando Gutierrez.

That same press release describes the event this way:

Federal agents on the San Diego Tunnel Task Force uncovered a sophisticated drug smuggling tunnel on Thursday, March 19, which extends under the United States-Mexico border to a warehouse in a commercial complex in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego. The discovery of the tunnel resulted from an ongoing investigation by members on the San Diego Tunnel Task Force, which include U.S. Immigration and customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Border Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorney’s Office.

…Agents seized approximately 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 from the tunnel. The large seizure of mixed drugs represents the first time in San Diego’s history where five different types of drugs were found inside a tunnel. The total street value of the drugs seized from the tunnel is estimated at $29.6 million.

The tunnel extends for more than 2,000 feet underground from a warehouse in Tijuana, Mexico to a warehouse in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego. The tunnel has an average depth of 31 feet and is three-feet wide through most of the passageway.

Agents estimate the tunnel has been in existence for several months due to the advanced construction observed in several portions of the passageway, which included reinforced walls, ventilation, lighting and an underground rail system.

…“I’m immensely proud of the dedication and diligence of agents on the task force to shut down this tunnel. Cross-border tunnels represent one of the most significant threats to our national security. Criminal organizations can use these tunnels to introduce anything they want into the U.S. This is especially concerning during a global pandemic,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke.