2 Border Tunnels Uncovered in San Diego - NBC Bay Area

2 Border Tunnels Uncovered in San Diego

Glenny Rodriguez, 73, was arrested on suspicion of overseeing the tunnels



    73-Year-Old Accused of Operating Drug Tunnels

    A 73-year-old woman is accused of operating drug smuggling tunnels recently discovered by authorities in Otay Mesa. NBC 7's Candice Nguyen has the latest details on the suspect's connection to this case. (Published Saturday, April 5, 2014)

    Two new tunnels were discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego, officials confirmed Friday.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were on the scene of the tunnels located in Otay Mesa. One tunnel was discovered at 10005 Marconi Drive. The second was found at 10145 Via de la Amistad.

    Both locations are in an industrial area just a few hundred feet from the border with Mexico.

    Federal agents report the tunnels were uncovered this week and include lighting and a rail system.

    The tunnel that exits inside the Via de la Amistad warehouse sits at the bottom of a 70-foot shaft and has a pulley system designed to lift cargo out of the tunnel and into the building above.

    That tunnel is about 80 yards from the border and leads to the Marconi address, and is the more sophisticated of the two, officials said.

    Inside, agents say they found a multi-tiered electric rail system running along the 700-yard tunnel.

    Agents found the Via de la Amistad tunnel Tuesday after a months-long investigation. They say they found the second tunnel Thursday.

    On Friday, Glennys Rodriguez, a 73-year-old Chula Vista woman was arrested in connection with the tunnels and now faces federal charges. Officials believe she's responsible for overseeing the tunnels.

    NBC 7 spoke to friends and neighbors on Friday in disbelief over Rodriguez’s arrest and possible connection to the tunnels.

    “It's impossible. She could not, she would not be involved. And I could give my life for her and she would not,” said friend Cathy Welsh. “I witness her life. I take care of her dog. She just goes to her office every day.”

    NBC 7 learned that Rodriguez owns a company called “G&R Services” in Chula Vista that provides immigration and tax services. She’s currently being held without bail.

    Rodriguez’s lawyer says she has a detention hearing in federal court on Wednesday.

    Officials say no illegal drugs were found on either property.

    In San Diego, there have been seven tunnels uncovered in less than four years.

    Since 2006, federal authorities have detected at least 80 cross-border smuggling tunnels, most of them in California and Arizona.