Meanwhile, on the Border - Smuggling Tunnel & $29 Million Worth of Drugs Discovered

AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Border Patrol officers check the barbed wire of the U.S. border fence to prevent migrants from jumping inside the United States to San Diego, from Tijuana, Mexico, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Discouraged by the long wait to apply for asylum through official ports of entry, many Central American migrants from recent caravans are choosing to cross the U.S. border wall and hand themselves into border patrol agents. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

With all the discussion regarding “essential” and “non-essential” businesses during this pandemic, on some level, we recognize that life (and work) outside of the coronavirus is continuing on, even if we’re not hearing much about it in the media. (Not pointing fingers here — most everyone is consumed with wall-to-wall virus coverage.)

This includes even governmental and law enforcement agencies and personnel who aren’t directly involved in the #WarOnRona. So, while the whole world is focused on social distancing and flattening curves and daily case and mortality rates, DEA agents are continuing efforts to interdict drug smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border. And earlier today, they announced a big get.

Per The Hill:

Federal agents in San Diego uncovered an underground smuggling tunnel last week and seized more than $29 million worth of drugs, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said Tuesday.

The tunnel extended more than 2,000 miles between a warehouse in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego and a warehouse in Tijuana, Mexico, according to the DEA.

Agents seized about 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, according to the DEA. Authorities estimated the total street value of the seized drugs is $29.6 million.

I’ll confess — I never knew there was such a thing as a “Tunnel Task Force,” but good on them.  Oh, and, while that “2,000 miles” reference REALLY caught my eye, I checked and the distance between Tijuana and Otay Mesa is roughly 7 miles as the crow flies. So, either that’s a typo, or this thing was constructed by the most inefficient smugglers on the face of the planet!
These guys apparently meant business, though.

Agents estimate the tunnel has been in existence for several months based on advanced construction in several portions, including reinforced walls, ventilation, lighting and an underground rail system.

The tunnel has an average depth of 31 feet and width of 3 feet throughout most of the passageway.

Yeah. Friends, that’s the wrong kind of underground railway.

This find follows on the heels of a similar discovery in late January. Jennifer Van Laar reported on that tunnel here:

At the culmination of  multi-year, multi-agency investigation, US authorities in the San Diego Tunnel Task Force announced the discovery of a 4,309 foot smuggling tunnel between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego.

The entrance to the tunnel was adjacent to the Tijuana International Airport, which is located along the border between the two countries. As smuggling tunnels go, it had unprecedented amenities:

U.S. Border Patrol agents described the tunnel as the “most sophisticated they had seen,” with an extensive rail-and-cart system to rapidly transport drugs, forced-air ventilation and high-voltage electrical cables and panels. The tunnel, named Baja Metro by border agents, also had an elevator at its entrance and a complex drainage system.

Fancy!

In any event, kudos to the Tunnel Task Force, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, DEA, and USA’s Office for their joint effort here. Good to know they’re still on the job, even while the rest of us have turned our attention to thorough hand washing and elbow-sneezing. A big thank you to them and all the first responders and personnel who are working hard to protect us — on many fronts.