SAN DIEGO.- Authorities in San Diego confirmed that the tunnel located last Wednesday night at a warehouse in Tijuana with a drug stockpile which is valued at around $12 million dollars, belongs to the Sinaloa Cartel.
The office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), informed that during the recon operation of the drug tunnel, they found over 8 tons of marijuana, as well as 325 pounds of cocaine, with this being the first time they found this drug in these types of tunnels.
The Federal Attorney of San Diego, Laura Duffy, confirmed in a press conference that the investigations point to the Sinaloa Cartel being behind the construction of this tunnel which is over 1,760 feet long and connected with Tijuana in the industrial zone with the eastern side of the county.
She also indicated that until now, 3 people have been arrested in relation to this find, and all of them will be presented before the Federal Court this Friday.
The Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in San Diego, William Sherman, pointed out that the construction of these types of tunnels in the border are "signs of desperation" on behalf of criminal organizations, as a response to the security reinforcement at the ports of entry in the country which are preventing them from crossing over narcotics into the country.
"This is a hard blow to criminal organizations". "They are investing one or 2 years in building a tunnel as sophisticated as this one, and investing millions of dollars to complete it".
The special agent said with certainty that "not a single gram of drug was moved by this tunnel", given that they were able to stop it before it started operations.
Agent Derek Benner, who is in charge of investigations on behalf of Homeland Security in the sector of San Diego, informed that in order to detect this tunnel, they invested several weeks of investigations, which consisted mainly on monitoring the zone.
"Agents observed the criminal activities related to this operation and construction of tunnels" the federal agent indicated. "Yesterday we obtained a search warrant both in the warehouse as well as other areas in San Diego which allowed us to discover this passage".
The development of this find goes back to last Saturday when authorities stopped a vehicle in Chula Vista for a transit violation, and inside they found 3 tons of marijuana. This incident allowed them to get search warrants for a residence in San Diego as well as a warehouse in Otay.
Authorities pointed out that this tunnel was equipped with electricity, ventilation and a rail system, becoming the longest most sophisticated tunnel found in the past 2 years.
According to authorities, they have discovered around 75 tunnels in the past 5 years near the border between Mexico and the United States, most of them were found in California and Arizona.