Drug tunnel connected California home to Mexico
March 25, 2016
Federal agents uncovered a drug smuggling tunnel that connected a home in Calexico, California to a restaurant in Mexicali, Mexico. Agents also seized more than a ton of marijuana and arrested four people in connection with a Mexican drug cartel smuggling operation. [ABC News]
Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators said traffickers paid $240,000 for a property located at 902 E. Third Street in Calexico. The traffickers then built a brand new $86,000 home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms in April 2015.
The home had a hole in the living room which gave access to the tunnel. The hole was about three feet wide, and it led to a shaft that descended about 32 feet underground connecting to the 415-yard tunnel.
Major drug trafficking organizations started using the tunnel last month.
U.S. attorney Laura Duffy said this was the first time that drug traffickers purchased a property and built a house for the sole purpose of concealing a drug tunnel in the area.
Investigators found bundles of marijuana wrapped in plastic inside the tunnel. They also found more marijuana at warehousing locations in Calexico. The marijuana totaled more than 1,350 pounds and had a a street value of about $6 million.
Agents made two arrests in Arizona and two in Calexico. The suspects face various charges.
Over the last five years, federal investigators have discovered more than 75 smuggling tunnels. Most have been located in California and Arizona.