Drug Tunnels, Smuggling Drugs Underground To Arizona, California, and Texas From Mexico
Smuggling drugs into the US.
Drug tunnels from Mexico into Arizona, Texas, and California are being discovered almost every month.
Thousands of tons of Marijuana and other more lethal drugs are flooding under the borders of Mexico.
After the use of submarines were used to import their illicit goods, Mexican drug Cartels have resorted to tunneling to supply a growing market throughout the U.S.
Some of the tunnels are simply 'crawl' tunnels. These small tunnels only allow smugglers to be on their hands and knees whilst pulling some bales of drugs behind them.
More elaborate drugs tunnels have lighting, air conditioning and train tracks to haul massive amounts across the border.
Since 2008, more than 75 drug tunnels have been discovered. Some were incomplete and had not yet been in operation. It is estimated that there are many more still undiscovered.
Other tunnels had already been in use and delivered a massive quantity of marijuana and cocaine into the U.S.
The elaborate lengths drug smugglers will go to is a testament to the profits that they make.
If a Cartel can hoard billions of dollars in cash in storage, and lose 10 -20 million dollars a year to rats chewing away at the notes for their nests, then something is definitely wrong.
Some discovered tunnels have been a mere 220 meters long, whilst others stretch over six soccer pitches in length.
Many of the drug tunnels were constructed by illegal immigrants, who were then executed to protect the location of the tunnel.
Drug Tunnel Entrances
With scenes reminiscing Vietnam or the Second World War, drug tunnel entrances have been cleverly disguised.
Running from Tijuana in Mexico to a San Diego warehouse, a tunnel was discovered and drugs worth $12 million were seized.
The tunnel entrance was discovered under a washroom sink. A small yet highly operational entrance where tons of drugs could have been pulled through every day.
Most tunnel entrances in the U.S. have been in industrial areas. These vast areas are perfect for smugglers as there are few people about. The drugs are then loaded onto huge trailers and distributed throughout the U.S.
On industrial estates, no-one would notice another large vehicle entering or leaving warehouses.
The soil around San Diego is clay and easy to dig. This makes it ideal and quick to complete tunnels. In Arizona, the tunnels sometimes meet up with drainage tunnels and tap into them as part of their own drug tunnel.
Drug Seizure's From Drug Tunnels
Due to the constant high volume of traffic that these tunnels can cope with, the drug seizures have been huge. The drug cartels are constantly seeking new methods to import their drugs into the USA.
In November 2011, a drugs tunnel was equipped with ventilation, lighting and electric rail cars. Upon being discovered, over 32 tons of marijuana was seized.
Thanksgiving day 2010, a tunnel was discovered that led from a Tijuana kitchen to two San Diego warehouses. 22 tons of marijuana was seized on both sides of the border.
Due to this raid, another 3 tons were found in a truck and six suitcases of cocaine were seized from a van that left the warehouse days before, but was viewed on security cameras.
Some of these intricate drug tunnels have rest rooms built in and masses of space for storing drugs ready to be shipped across the border.
The Cartels have invested millions constructing these tunnels. The lucrative U.S. drug market is so valuable to them.
It is estimated that Mexican drug lords have street gangs running over 1,200 U.S. cities and plying their evil trade.
These gangs are not restricted to pushing drugs, but also indulge in human trafficking, kidnapping, as well as prostitution and murder.
Illegal immigrants for the sex trade are also smuggled though these tunnels.
The Fight Back
The DEA and other law enforcement departments are fighting back. New remote control robots are being used to scour discovered tunnels to eliminate the risk of potential shoot outs.
The robots, equipped with lights, cameras and listening devices are sent into tunnels prior to armed soldiers. The robots send back images as to the safety of the tunnel, if there are drugs there, and if there are any booby traps or armed men in the tunnel.
The U.S. Border Patrol has three of the Pointless robots each costing approximately $500,000.
As more tunnels are discovered, more tunnels are being dug by the Cartels.
The use of submarines, light aircraft, and high speed boats along the Californian coastline is on the increase as tunnel closures surpass tunnel construction.
It has also been suggested that fugitives from the US are paying to use the tunnels to escape prosecution for various crimes, and are now living in Mexico.