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Charges dropped against suspect Neal Putnam | Sat, Jul 05 2014 12:00 PM

A 73-year-old Chula Vista woman will get a trial date set Aug. 8 on a federal charge that alleges she was part of a conspiracy to maintain a drug involved premises when she rented a warehouse that concealed a hidden underground tunnel to Mexico.

Glennys “Gladys” Marie Rodriguez remains free on $75,000 bond after she was charged in April in U.S. District Court.

She owns a business that provides immigration services and prepares taxes.

A second person, Gilberto Quezada-Madrid, 26, of Tijuana, has been charged with conspiracy and use of a cross border tunnel.

The warehouse is located near the border at 10145 Via De La Amistad. A confidential source told authorities they worked with several people including Rodriguez to rent the warehouse, according to court records.

Federal agents maintained months of surveillance near the warehouse and Rodriguez was seen there with keys. A businessman who wanted to start a business selling pallets of merchandise rented part of the warehouse from Rodriguez in April, 2013.

Agents interviewed a caretaker at the warehouse who told them he was being paid to make it appear a legitimate business was being conducted there. A machine to wrap pallets of merchandise was moved in March and agents observed a newly painted square patch of the floor underneath the machine.

Agents discovered a subterranean tunnel underneath the patch on the floor. Court documents described the tunnel entrance as being approximately 2 ½ feet by 2 ½ feet leading to a walkway. At the end of the walkway, there was a 68-foot vertical shaft that led to a 600-yard tunnel that had lighting, ventilation, and a rail system.

The tunnel’s entry point in Tijuana was inside a mini-storage facility about 800 feet south of the border, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. A second tunnel in a commercial building nearby was also discovered. No drugs were found.
Rodriguez and Quezada-Madrid have pleaded not guilty.

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