A 1,744-foot-long, 61-foot-long drug smuggler tunnel with a railroad track was discovered from a Mexican home near the border to a warehouse in Southern California
- Homeland Security has discovered a 1,744-foot tunnel connecting a house in Tijuana, Mexico, with a warehouse in Otai Mesa, California
- The underground passage, which was found Friday, is about 61 feet deep and four feet in diameter
- It was located about 300 feet north of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Otai Mesa
- The tunnel had a railroad track, walls supported by metal beams, electricity and a ventilation system
- This was discovered by agents of internal security investigations who monitored the residence of National City, which in March was used by a criminal group to hide 28 kilograms of cocaine, which was smuggled.
- Authorities have arrested six people and charged them with conspiracy to distribute 1,762 pounds of cocaine.
Federal agents found a tunnel that stretched from a house in the Mexican border town of Tijuana to the south California The warehouse is under investigation by a local drug smuggling network, the Southern California District Attorney’s Office said Monday.
The underground passage, which was found on Friday, is approximately 1,774 feet long and 61 feet deep and four feet in diameter. It was located about 300 feet north of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Otai Mesa.
The tunnel had a railroad track, walls supported by metal beams, electricity and a ventilation system.
This was discovered by agents of internal security investigations who monitored the residence of National City, which in March was used by a criminal group to hide 28 kilograms of cocaine, which was smuggled.
An Internal Security Investigation Agent is inspecting a section of an underground tunnel used by a drug trafficking network to smuggle drugs from a home in Tijuana, Mexico, to a warehouse in Otai Mesa, California, just 300 feet from the border fence. Authorities arrested six suspects and confiscated 1,762 pounds of cocaine, 64 pounds of methamphetamine and three and a half pounds of heroin.
The tunnel is estimated to be about 1,744 feet long, 61 feet deep and 4 feet in diameter. Its walls are protected by metal beams, has a railway track, electricity and ventilation system
Federal and state agents are inspecting Otai Mesa, California, where an underground tunnel was discovered Friday. The passage is connected to a residence in Tijuana, Mexico, where members of a drug trafficking organization prepared drugs that were sent through the railroad tunnel
Entry / exit from a tunnel found under a warehouse in Otai Mesa, California, that connected to a home in Tijuana, Mexico, and was used to smuggle drugs into the United States
Officers spotted Luz de Luna Olmas and Vanessa Ramirez, both from San Diego, who were driving out of the house in a pickup truck around 11:45 a.m. Friday and stopped at the Harbor Freight Tools store, where they removed cardboard boxes from a landfill. They then went to the store and purchased carts that are commonly used to transport heavy items.
The accused returned to their places of residence and carried the boxes inside. Olmas left the residence around 1:20 p.m. and visited the Walmart store when she bought extra boxes.
Ramirez left the house an hour later and drove to a warehouse in San Diego. She left the warehouse at about 4:40 p.m. and headed back to the residence as agents followed in her footsteps.
Homeland Security investigators eventually stopped five cars coming in and out of the house, from a warehouse or both, and confiscated drug supplies from cars and homes.
Since 1993, at least 90 tunnels have been found in Southern California
The Justice Department said Homeland Security investigators were able to detect the Otai-Mesa tunnel Friday after midnight because of surveillance they conducted in front of the National City residence, which was used in March to hide 28 kilograms of cocaine.
The agents then searched the warehouse and dug up a secret tunnel.
Authorities found another 1,762 pounds of cocaine, 164 pounds of methamphetamine and three and a half pounds of heroin.
Mario Haramil of Huntington Beach; Adrian Enriquez of Paris, California; Juan Cruz of San Isidro; and Vanessa Ramirez, Luz de Luna Olmas and Manuel Perez of San Diego were arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute 1,762 pounds of cocaine.
Olmas and Ramirez were also charged with trafficking methamphetamine and heroin.
Each defendant was due to appear in court on Monday.
Since 1993, at least 90 tunnels have been found in Southern California. The last underground passage was opened in March 2020.
“There is no light at the end of this drug tunnel,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “We are eliminating every underground smuggling route we find so that inadmissible drug revenues do not end up on our streets and destroy our families and communities.”
The Otai-Mesa Tunnel, California, is the first tunnel to be opened by federal agents in the Southern District of California since March 2020.