It’s almost inspiring how the illegal drug trade marches on in the face of a global pandemic. The Drug Enforcement Administration expressed something like begrudging admiration after uncovering an underground tunnel used to transport cannabis and other controlled substances from Mexico to the United States.
“These tunnels show the determination of drug trafficking organizations to subvert our border controls and smuggle deadly drugs into our community,” DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery said in a press releasefrom U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.
The discovery was made on March 19 by a “Tunnel Task Force” made up of dudes and dudettes from ICE, DEA, U.S. Border Patrol, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The tunnel was more than 2,000 feet long, about 30 feet underground and three feet wide, connecting a warehouse in Tijuana to another outside San Diego, California.
While one might wonder if this is the best use of government resources during one of the greatest crises in our country’s history, the DEA claimed that in fact the operation was combatting the coronavirus outbreak.
“Criminal organizations can use these tunnels to introduce anything they want into the U.S. This is especially concerning during a global pandemic,” said Aaron M. Heitke, a U.S. Border Patrol chief agent. The risk of distributing illicit drugs would not appear to come with any greater risk of infection to a consumer than purchasing any other commodity, but, you know, sure.
The bust was apparently a milestone for the task force, being “the most valuable single-day tunnel seizure in recent memory, and it is the largest seizure of multiple drugs in a single tunnel,” according to U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer.
The task force seized more than two tons of illegal drugs including 3,000 pounds of cannabis (because California apparently needs more weed), 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, and two pounds of fentanyl.
Photo via Flickr/Don Goofy