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Sophisticated drug tunnel discovered in Otay Mesa warehouse; $25 million in drugs seized

It's the first subterranean tunnel discovery in the region since 2020.

TIJUANA, Baja California — Six people are in custody after investigators discovered a massive drug tunnel connecting a home in Tijuana to an Otay Mesa warehouse. The tunnel stretches 1,744 feet long, is 61 feet deep, four feet in diameter, and is located just 300 feet from the border fence.

As part of the investigation, 1,762 pounds of cocaine, 164 pounds of meth and three and a half pounds of heroin were seized, estimated to be worth $25 million.

“The tunnel was found because of good old fashion police work,” said United States Attorney, Randy Grossman.

Grossman said investigators were doing surveillance of a residence in National City, which had been used as a stash house in a separate drug smuggling case back in March.

They were watching the home on Thursday when they noticed people coming and going, which eventually led them to a warehouse in Via De La Amistad in Otay Mesa.

“We allege our defendants were driving into the garage and dropping off and loading boxes full of drugs to further the movement and distribution of drugs throughout the United States.  Federal agents were watching the whole time,” said Grossman.

While it’s not known how long the tunnel has been here, investigators say it’s sophisticated with a railing system, steel shoring, electricity, and ventilation.

Six people have been arrested and charged with three counts of conspiracy to distribute drugs. Each charge carries a minimum 10-year sentence.

The defendants, who were set to be arraigned on Monday in San Diego federal court are:

  • Mario Jaramillo, 55, of Huntington Beach
  • Adrian Enriquez, 31, of Perris
  • Manuel Perez, 49, of San Diego
  • Juan Cruz, 48, of San Ysidro
  • Vanessa Ramirez, 31, of San Diego
  • Luz de Luna Olmos, 43, of San Diego

Since 1993, 90 tunnels have been discovered in the Southern California region. The last time it happened was in 2020.

The agencies who took part in this raid include Homeland Security, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and the United States Border Patrol.

“I’m very happy to report that there is no light at the end of this narco tunnel.  We and our agency partners will continue to work zealously to take down every subterranean route and other means that drug traffickers use to bring drugs into our community,” said Grossman.

RELATED: Border Patrol says it's found longest cross-border tunnel yet

RELATED: Benjamin Arellano-Felix wants out early from prison on ‘compassionate release’

WATCH: Law enforcement officials discover tunnel used for drug trafficking on U.S. Mexico border (May 17, 2022)

WATCH RELATED: Benjamin Arellano-Felix wants out early from prison on ‘compassionate release’ (May 5, 2022)

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