U.S. and Mexican officials have recovered nearly 18 tons of marijuana after discovering a cross-border drug tunnel, they said Wednesday.
The passageway stretched from a warehouse just east of the Tijuana airport in Mexico, near the border fence, to a warehouse in Otay Mesa. Its exit was found Tuesday by members of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force, which includes officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
U.S. officials then alerted their Mexican counterparts, who traced the tunnel’s entrance to a large warehouse with a dirt floor and covered with corrugated tin, said Gen. Gilberto Landeros, head of Mexico’s Second Military Zone.
Landeros said the tunnel was probably constructed recently and that while it had a ventilation system, it lacked the sophisticated features of some past tunnels, such as a built-in lighting system, a concrete foundation or rail tracks. This one was about four football fields long, almost four feet wide and more than five feet tall, the general said.
In the passageway, Mexican authorities seized 778 packages of marijuana. Some of the packages had a Captain America sticker, others had a sticker of a Bud Light bottle with a marijuana leaf in the middle and still others had a sticker with a Sprite can.
U.S. officials seized about six tons of marijuana on their side of the tunnel, plus approximately three tons in a truck.
Landeros and U.S. authorities have not given a market value for the marijuana.
Mexican authorities said they have not made any arrests in the case. They suspect the involvement of the drug trafficker “El Aquiles".