Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, April 29, 2016

San Diego Tunnel - Sinaloa to Barrio Logan

The characteristics of the tunnel used by "El Chapo" to escaped in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, before being captured, have been repeated in the most recent narcotúnel found in the US-Mexico border. The ton of cocaine seized on the US side shows that the tunnel had been in operation for several months and the confidence of the cartel to operate in the border.

Baja California have not had a tunnel built as good as this one.

Of the more than 80 tunnels found since 2011, the one with the expensive freight elevator hidden behind a closet door with a security gate, that ends with a hole in the ground, a few meters from the Otay Mesa border crossing, is the one that caught the attention of US authorities.

"There is no resemblance to others that we have seen before in which architects and engineers work to hide the tunnel exit, either within a warehouse or a residence," said Southern California Attorney General, Laura Duffy.

The underground tunnel was found on April 16 and displayed on April 20 on the US side. It has a length of over 750 meters and was carved in the form of shimmy.

Abraham Perez, special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said the exit door "is something that we have not seen in the cartel tunnels that we have investigated".

Prosecutor Laura Duffy looks at "tunnel hole" 

However, the construction bears a striking resemblance to the tunnel that Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used to escaped from a home in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, to the sewer system ​​before being arrested by federal forces, on January 8, 2016.

Both in the way the entry was hidden behind a false wooden door in a closet in the bedroom of the apartment, and the installation of a metal gate with a safety device.

While in other constructions hydraulic platforms have been found, never an industrial cargo elevator for up to nine people. The costs of a device of this type in Mexico, is ranging between $65,000 and $95,000 pesos, according to experts consulted by ZETA.

The tunnel and the finding of a ton of cocaine, worth 22 million dollars, demonstrated "the confidence of the cartel to move cocaine coming from Colombia and Peru", said the DEA agent, Abraham Perez.

Typically, cross-border tunnels are used to smuggle marijuana, as the smell and the volume make it difficult to transport in vehicles crossing the border and U.S customs.

"Cocaine is not something you often see in a tunnel," Duffy said, adding that in the past they had found up to ten kilos of the drug in a narcotúnel.

Although it had ventilation and lighting system, the US official explained that the sophistication of the tunnel decreased as it went to the American side of the border.

The edges were not properly shored up with wood and the narrowness of the tunnel, made the passage a little difficult.

On the American side, the tunnel was almost straight down three meters to a small break area and continued down another 14 meters. The starting point is located just on the opposite corner of a warehouse located at Avenida Marconi Drive, where some years ago a tunnel was also found.


Although US authorities have not yet officially revealed what organization the narcotúnel belongs too, billed as the most extensive and complex discovered on the border between California and Mexico, the building has the characteristics of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Not only because of the similarities to the one found in the hideout of "El Chapo" but because in recent years, the Baja California border has been penetrated beneath the earth by the Sinaloa Cartel, mainly, as well as the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG).

State Secretary of Public Security, Daniel de la Rosa Anaya said: "One of the groups that has been an expert or is constantly detected in narcotúneles, has been the criminal group of Sinaloa, in our investigations we have that group with some participation of another group from Jalisco. "

Packages of marijuana and cocaine smuggled through the tunnel, inside a truck

To Logan Heights

The tunnel begins at a house in Colonia Nueva Tijuana, and enter the U.S. territory diagonally to the east of the Otay border crossing, connecting to a property located in the industrial area of ​​Otay Mesa.

The discovery and dismantling operation took place in the United States. Although federal authorities reported that the investigation began seven months ago, from April 12 police began to document evidence that led to the arrest of six people.

Information provided to ZETA indicates that the tunnel had been operating for several months, and it is further explained why in a single day, federal agents confiscated a ton of cocaine and five tons of marijuana while being transferred from the tunnel exit to the Logan Neighborhood in San Diego, California.

The final destination of the drug, according to DEA agent Pérez, was Los Angeles, California and East of the United States, as is the route followed by the cartels that use the border as an access point.

For years, Barrio Logan was considered the exclusive territory of the Arellano Felix Cartel (CAF). There they would recruit narco traffickers and hitmen for the criminal world in Tijuana, but for some moths, the US authorities have found drug houses and hideouts for criminals related to the Sinaloa Cartel.

According to reports from the Department of Homeland Security (HSI), at 9:55 am on Tuesday, April 12 they began to monitor a parked white loaded truck with California plates in the Otay Mesa property.

Outside, the property there was a sign announcing the purchase of wooden pallets and boards. That was one of the reasons that the Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security began to monitor the area.

Attorney General Duffy said the proceeds from the sale and purchase of wood did not match the cost of the rent. Agent Perez added that the exit point of the passageway, hidden under a giant dump and thousands of pallets, "did not represented a lot of money compared to the industrial trailer they had in there. They most be very efficient because they don't have to many people, "he said about the few employees who allegedly worked in the place.

The next day, on April 13 in the afternoon, the officers noticed how two people inside the premises covered the trash pile with a tarp, while a forklift was moving wood pallets.

Then a white truck arrive to pick up the trash and was moved to a parking lot located on Imperial Avenue, near 30th Street in Barrio Logan. There the content was unloaded.

A second truck arrived and parked next to the rubble left by the first truck. Meanwhile, a man walked and looked out through the gate of the place, nervously.

Two days later, on April 15, a tarp had been placed over the space between the second truck and the debris in the parking lot. There Juan Carlos Chavez Fabian, Alejandro Gómez Báez and Osmel Martinez were identified.

The second truck left the place and took to the streets, followed not just by a Lexus escort, but also by the San Diego Sheriffs.

When the officers noticed that the back door was open, they indicated to the driver, Fabian Chavez, to stop the truck.

The man admitted to police about not having a California driver's license and authorized the search of the truck. Police found one ton 18 kilograms of cocaine and five tons 14 kilograms of marijuana.

PGR banner in pieces

As this was happening, the driver of the Lexus, Alejandro Gómez Báez and his passenger Osmel Martinez jump off the car to flee but were arrested. In their vehicle, officers found package with one kilogram of marijuana.

"The marks on the blocks of cocaine found in the truck matched the block found in the Lexus".

These three men are accused of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, a federal crime that reaches a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment.

On March 18 they were presented before Judge Barbara L. Major, who set a preliminary hearing for Thursday April 28. The three men ask for an interpreter and Gómez Báez presented their financial statement to the court on April 20.


The other three men were arrested in ​​Otay Mesa where the hiding underground passageway exit was.

Cruz Armando Parra Corrales, who until 2013 was an authorized tow truck dealer in the City of Tijuana.

According to " Vehicle Public Services", Corrales Parra is listed as the administrator and dealer of Tow Trucks Zabad, residing at Avenida Internacional number 44 in the former Ejido Tampico.

The concession was authorized on September 30, 2003 and expired on September 30, 2008, but he had obtained an extension.

Months before the end of the administration of former Mayor Carlos Bustamante, Sindicatura reported that nearly 2,000 vehicles had not been registered in the impound system of the receivership, through which users can locate their vehicle if it was towed.

One of the tow trucks that had failed to comply with the process, was a Zabad tow truck . In fact, on August 2013, the company notified Sindicatura that they were renouncing to the concession for the lack of units and lack of storage capacity.

However, Armando Parra Cruz Corrales also appears in the tow truck registration of Playas de Rosarito, updated in the second quarter of 2015, under concession number RTO-PT-G-256.

In addition, on March 16, 2006, Parra Corrales was registered with the Public Registry of Property and Commerce of Baja California as a partner and manager of Parra Recycling.
The certificate has a duration of 99 years and started with a capital of 50 thousand pesos, of which Armando Parra Cruz Corrales invested 20 thousand pesos.

Alongside Martiniano Garcia Sedano and Alejandro Bravo, Parra Corrales faces charges of conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana, plus conspiracy to use a border tunnel.

The tunnel exit was hidden among trash and pallets

The three men and a fourth unidentified, were observed in the wooden pallet yard on the 12 and 13 of April, while the white truck was loaded. They then helped to hide the tunnel exit with a tarp, operated the forklift and look into the tunnel.

It was on April 16 when officers entered the premises both in Otay Mesa and the parking lot in Barrio Logan, with a search warrant.

Within the tunnel they found 68 bales of marijuana weighing 744.6 kilograms, and in the parking lot, they found 650 kilograms of the same drug.

About the value of the more than five tons sized, federal authorities have said to be just over $4 million, giving a total of 26 million dollars if you add the value of the cocaine.

The criminal trial of the three men will be about the same time as the other three detainees, on the same dates and hearings.

The prosecutor stated that from this six people, two are Cuban refugees, two are Mexicans with a green card living in the US, one more is a Mexican national, and another is a US citizen.


The Narco Tunnel Builders and operators chose the property without walls or buildings to hide the exit, a kind of burrow in the United States side.

Giving little suspicion that what the workers were doing was moving tons of cocaine and marijuana in broad daylight," said Laura Duffy.

However, on the Mexican side, the narcotúnel began in the most ostentatious house on Diego Rivera street in colonia Nueva Tijuana. On unpaved roads with large potholes and facing a public school, is the residence number 302.

With a plaque on behalf of "Fimbres Estrada Family", the building 12 by 30 meters was acquired two years ago by a couple with children. It has a garage on the main street and the entrance gate to the house is on Doctor Atl street.

The two-story residence contrasts with the rest of the houses of a single story, with grocery stores and other businesses like mechanic shops.

Neighbors reported that the family was regularly visited by a younger man, who sometimes slept over. About the husband, they explained, that he was driving a truck, he will also wear a construction helmet and an orange vest.

Parking lot at the Barrio Logan to where the drug was taken

Unlike the US, where the operation began since April 12, Mexican authorities began searching for the tunnel until the afternoon of April 19. Before getting to the right address, elements of the Federal Police entered and search the home located at the front of the house with the tunnel.

Jaime Romero showed the damage to the entrance gate of his house, which was forced by police that afternoon. Since he was not there, the housing alarm system alerted an employee of the security company they went to the house, but Federal Police agents prevented him from entering the house.

When the retired man arrived to his house, federal agents explained to him that it had been a mistake and that they would pay for the damages.

At the moment, Mr. Romero resin filled the gaps left at the top of the door and on the side.

According to estimates by the US Attorney General Laura Duffy, the tunnel was built over a period not exceeding one year and by the details found, it is likely that they did not used heavy machinery.


Shortly before nine o'clock, more than 20 members of the Federal Police entered the house where the tunnel begins. Some toys and a pool for children remained in the main courtyard.

After entering the residence, police officers spent most of the two hours of the raid in the garage, which has an entrance from the courtyard. The house is just 400 meters away from the line that separates Mexico from the United States.

Two Federal Police units were guarding the area as a swat meet on wheels was installed on the front and around the property. With yellow plastic tape police restricted pedestrian and vehicular crossing in front of the house.

With ropes, industrial equipment, bags and toolboxes, the federal agency staff left the building at 10:45 am. No drug packages were observed.

The preliminary investigation PGR / SEIDO / UEITA / 038/2012, corresponding to the Specialized Investigation of Terrorism, Arms Stockpiling and Trafficking (UEITA) of the Deputy Attorney Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime (SEIDO) Unit will be integrated.

At the time when one of the agents tried to place the police banner that prevents the access to the house accrediting the seizure of property, it broke into several pieces, so five elements helped to glue with gray tape.

After several minutes, the Attorney General's Office Seal (PGR), whose violation is a crime-, with folio number A-003536, was ready at the top of the fence.

Federal authorities in Tijuana reported that they didn't participated in the operational, location and dismantling. On the US side, sources told ZETA that PGR and Federal Police personal was sent from Mexico City to the border city for this operation.

The level of complexity of the narcotúnel, the quantity and value of drugs seized in the United States and the months that operated for trafficking cocaine and marijuana, makes this tunnel one of the most fruitful for drug trafficking in the last years.

This article was translated from Zeta Tijuana 


  1. Zeta Tijuana is a difficult news source to do translations. I didn't have time to double check so hopefully is OK.

    1. Well done. Thank you.

    2. @Texcoco De Mora
      What makes that news source difficult?

    3. Anonymous April 29, 2016 at 6:02 PM Their articles are long, and the words and terminology they use are hard to translate.

    4. Hey Where you batos from?
      Barrio Logan y que?

  2. Christian Lopez PalafoxApril 29, 2016 at 7:06 AM

    Let a tunnel get discovered every few months, the police are well aware of the ones currently in operation and maybe even protect them. But hey, a man has to provide for his family right?

  3. America has an un-fillable need for drugs. Someone will also fill the supply. This a big joke. Legalize it and be done with it. Take the illegal profits out and everyone will be better off.

  4. The open air highways that have been discovered and reported never get touched, I remember how some San Jose Mercury reporter was sucidized by his own mews paper, the NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST AND OTHER GREAT AMERICAN PAPERS after he earned some pulitzer prize or sompim'...
    --The pulitzer prize won by the NY Times for reporting on "la secre" manlio fabio beltrones,(aka "el Capulina" too) a secret of state now, like all other reporting about influential politicians and men of business, all swept under the rug...
    --Let the poor have their tunnels, danmit!

    --of course, anybody gets caught, that is their problem, the SSP de BCN gets paid in advance, they ain't no pendejos, they answer to the governor with their ass, in person...

  6. Worth $26 million,wow!Heads are gonna ROLL!It sounds like the cops on the Mexican side probably knew about tunnel but were protecting it as much as they could.

    1. the federales scored a good one, but how did they find out?
      --I am sure it was not their powers of deduction, they are detective only for bigger money, so, what gives?

  7. There has to be a pact between all of them

  8. i doubt a tunnel ran from Tijuana to logan, it can be from tj to san ysidro or otay, but to Logan its way tooooo long

    1. Good 15 miles!

    2. it again.its says the tunnel is from tijuana to just over on the US,then they transport the drugs to barrio Logan by trucks.

    3. OK anon 1:26 pm I will take out the FROM. That way you wont get confused. I you read the article it clearly says the tunnel is from Tijuana to Otay, but sometimes people get confused easily.

    4. However, they are tunneling around 33rd & national, too. One year, a sidewalk collapsed because of it! Great article, thank you and be safe!

    5. Meth and H can be planted in barrio logan straight from China to el paso, via michoacan, if you want to use a tunnel just for the hell of it that is your pedo, from one guater to another in the pulga nearby in otay.

  9. Is it me or does 95,000pesos sound really cheap for a lift that fits nine people?

    1. I was thinking about the same thing, specially coming from Narcos who just lost over $26 million dollars in drugs. $95,000 pesos is about $6,000 dollars. A pound of coke is twice that much.

    2. The narrow passages say, the "expensive tunnel" was not finished and the "drugs" were put in there just to show work...

    3. WOW Jack! Don't you think is a little to much? I don't know how tall are you but if you are a small petite woman 1 is more than enough.

  10. Where you at chapo? CAF controls everything

    1. Caf is gone dude. There is no caf. Just cds,cjng, n new tijuana group. Caf is just a name n memory. N reality who really gives a shit about who controls what. If ur an addict in the usa then ur just happy that the drugs keep comin so again who gives a shit. Theyre all the same scummy motherfuckers. If the would just traffic drugs n stop preying on the ppl then they would way better off

    2. Aqui la rifamos puro Barrio Logan pinches nacos y mugrosos.
      El Snoopy.

    3. 7:46 Who controls is important, it leads to the head, and the head must looove ]eople like you trying to mislead people away from the head to the ass.

    4. La CAFetera sigue Activo!

    5. Anonymous 11:48 PM Hablando de nacos, a pa pinche sobre nombre que escogiste para representarte. You people choose cartoon names like kids. It clearly shows the level of education.

  11. No matter how much you caf blo cdj hate Sinaloa there still doing big things bigger then all you levas

    1. The only big thing CDS is doing is snitching Big time lol if cds controlled Tijuana, they would not have been caught. Seems like cds is out of Tijuana.

    2. Nobody said they control, Tj. all that said is there moving way more weight. and in this game there is no rules. So snitching on the enemy is part of the game of Chess

    3. Muerete puto Chapulin!

      Tijuana Sigue Haciendo Arellano!

    4. @ 9:49...honor amongst thieves bro. No, snitching is not and should not be part of the game of chess. That's the only thing you sinaloenses can say though. You fellas are trying to make it ok to be a rat. The next generation of narcos coming out of that region are going to be even worse.

    5. @8:35 you dont understand the upper levels of the game you still street level. And its NO honor amongst thieves, because that's what they all are

    6. Anonymous 6:25 AM Ni como tomarte en serio cuando ni siquiera sabes escribir.

  12. What became of Alejandro n Alfredo Hoyodan, is Alfredo still locked up on Mexico?? They were part of the narcojuniors of Ramon Arellano Felix

    1. El Lobo "Alfredo" will spend the rest of his life in Almoloya for glorifying the Mafia life. He did put in work and push mad weight to Chula Vista and National City etc along with los Fabianes and pulled beautiful women in TJ cuz of his status but that 1990s Arellano Felix mob chapter is case closed. And well Alex unfortunately, is swimming with the fishes for debriefing about the logistics and upper echelon of the mighty Cartel.

    2. 5:00 He must be writing his book...

  13. Off topic but here in TJ I always get cop magnet attention with my Lexus ISF. Maybe cuase I have limo tints all around and its blacked out. One or two try to pull the siren thing but I flex my rights since my uncle is a high powered attorney/municipal judge. I just present them the card and they lower the tone.Never experienced that with my old beaters. They automatically think you mobbed up or pure envy. Trucha con las cachuchas down there. They will tap your pockets if you give them a reason.

    1. "Municipal judge", they don't earn enough money for gas, much less for a nephew's "lexus", car must be stolen
      "High powered attorney municipal judge", he should send you to el Hongo for being a big mouth.

    2. You are probably right;on paper municipal judge doesn't make too much but maybe the son has 'different' income and maybe someone owed judge a favour and 'gave' a stolen by a cartel US car.

    3. Ha! You sir are apart of the corruption, an ISF in TJ only belong to either to white people or little mexican drug dealers like yourself! Try and earn your money honestly huevon!

    4. Or, mexican bodymen can make lambos and ferraris for you, out of scrap tomato cans, lexus is easier to make, all by hand...even next year models!!!

    5. Pinchi vato mamon, next time try to make up a better story, on which you are driving a Ferrari or Lamborghini or a car more than 75K, not a 35K vehicle. And yes you are part of the problem in Mexico. Pinche wevon.

    6. Trais un pinchi volkswagen con las llantas desinfladas...
      "Echale aire" you tube,
      I love you paisas, pero no la chinguen hasta la chiva le robaron al señor, I know how it feels, where is my chiva?

  14. Amazing that's a long add tunnel from Sinaloa to Barrio Logan ,San diego.. Easy 400 miles of tunnel


    1. The original headline says Tunnel, from Sinaloa to Barrio Logan. I did some changes just to specify where the tunnel was (SAN DIEGO TUNNEL), and I was hopping that people will read the entire article to understand that the tunnel was just from Tijuana to San Diego.

      And no! The distance from San Diego to Sinaloa is about 1000 miles, minus 10 or 20. Plus the distance from Sand Diego to Tijuana is about 20 miles.

      You see, we all make mistakes, your assumption is 600 miles short.

  15. Tex you might want to reword your headline. It sounds like the tunnel runs from the state of Sinoloa to the border. I don't think there is a tunnel in the world that long.

    1. I was thinking about it, but that's the way it is on Zeta Tijuana. I just need to think of a different headline.

    2. Lol, best believe there might be one, sabiendo como son de genios estos narcos.

    3. 10:16 Hey, no problemo, al mejor zapatero se le va un zapato entero...

  16. All this tijuanense no tienen verguenza saying in tijuana is cartel arellano lol the arellanos where sinaloense su papa de tijuana lol pake les cale

    1. The puppeteer of the arellanos was a chilango, "atlacomulca scion jorge hank rohn", like a chilango pickpocket, he demanded and got a performance, then let the arellanos all of the shitty end of the stick, Don chuyito labra avilés only has 55 years left of his sentence...sinaloas, have been used, like rancherito bandidos by the chilango powers that bee!!!

  17. The owners of that parking lot that's behind the hall in LOGAN are from michoacan and the guys in the Lexus where from Nayarit nothing to do with Sinaloa

    1. And they say people from sinaloa are snitches ?? Dry snitch

    2. So Sinaloa don't employ michoacanos. Or people from Nayarit lol you must me be Dumb @9:20 am

  18. UPDATE


  19. Free Armando Parra. Arriba Obregon Sonora


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