U.S. authorities find massive drug-smuggling tunnel running from Tijuana to San Diego

The agents found north of 1,700 pounds of cocaine, in addition to other drugs, in the tunnel.

Updated: May 17, 2022 - 2:49pm

Federal officials have discovered and blocked a drug-smuggling tunnel the length of six football fields near the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California.

The underground passage discovered last week connects Tijuana to a San Diego warehouse, in which 1,762 pounds of cocaine was found, along with 164 pounds of meth and 3.5 pounds of heroin, officials said Monday. 

The tunnel, which is 61 feet deep, was equipped with a ventilation system and reinforced walls, officials also said.

Authorities charged six people with cocaine trafficking, two of whom were also charged with meth and heroine trafficking.

Officers were led to the tunnel after they inspected vehicles they saw coming and ongoing from the warehouse and a nearby residence. Boxes of drugs were found during the vehicle inspections that ultimately led authorities to the drug tunnel.

"There is no more light at the end of this narco-tunnel," said Randy Grossman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California.

Cartel members have frequently used tunnels connecting Tijuana and San Diego to traffic drugs into the United States. It is unclear for how long this particular route was in use.

Two years ago, the longest known drug tunnel was discovered connecting Tijuana and San Diego. The tunnel, which included a rail system and elevator, spanned three-quarters of a mile. The one discovered Friday by U.S. authorities spanned about one-third of a mile.