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Three Charged in SoCal Tunnel Drug Bust

SAN DIEGO (CN) - Federal prosecutors charged three men with possession of hundreds of pounds of marijuana and cocaine they allegedly brought into the United States through a tunnel from Tijuana to San Diego.

Prosecutors said the tunnel to a San Diego warehouse was equipped with lighting and an electrical rail system.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said the tunnel - 35 feet deep, 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide - was built by the Sinaloa cartel.

Jose Arturo Mendoza, Juan Pena-Osuna and Roman Ramos-Romero were charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana. They are said to be lower-level members of the enterprise.

Uncle Sam made the bust after getting information that a man had helped build the tunnel for six weeks this summer.

Federal agents followed the man as he crossed the border from Mexico in a pickup truck and stopped at the San Diego warehouse.

There, agents saw plastic-wrapped cardboard boxes loaded into vehicles, on of which they followed to a warehouse in Chula Vista.

Chula Vista police stopped a truck leaving the warehouse for traffic violations on Oct. 26, and found nearly 3 tons of marijuana in the truck, prosecutors said.

Four days later, Mendoza was busted bear to the San Diego warehouse, allegedly with 327 pounds of cocaine in a van.

Osuna was stopped in a car he had been driving with the van.

Also that day Romero was arrested at the Chula Vista warehouse, allegedly with more than 3 tons of marijuana in a truck.

Agents found the tunnel upon raiding the San Diego warehouse, 1,000 feet from the Mexican border.

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