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On the US-Mexico border, a drug smuggling tunnel with a rail system has been discovered

Drug smuggling Tunnel 1

On the California-Mexico border, US officials discovered an underground drug smuggling tunnel with reinforced walls, electricity, ventilation, and a train system that runs the length of a football field.

Last Monday, investigators discovered a tunnel leading to a warehouse in an industrial region on US land. The tunnel lies about a half-mile (0.8km) from the Otay Mesa border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego, in a location where over a dozen others have been discovered in the last two decades.

Agents began performing traffic stops near the warehouse after scoping out a property that had recently been used as a drug stash house, turning up boxes full of cocaine, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in US district court in San Diego.

Drug smuggling Tunnel

According to federal authorities, they raided the premises and discovered no further drugs at the warehouse, but a tunnel hole chiseled into the cement floor. To Tijuana, the tunnel was a third of a mile long. It was around six stories deep and 4 feet (1.2 meters) in circumference.

Six people were detained on federal narcotics conspiracy charges after agents confiscated 1,762lb (799kg) of cocaine, 165lb (75kg) of meth, and 3.5lb (1.6kg) of heroin from the vehicles and the apartment.

The cross-border tunnel was built in one of the most heavily protected sections of the border, demonstrating the border wall’s limits. While walls are effective against small, crudely dug tunnels known as “gopher holes,” they are no match for more sophisticated underground pathways.

Drug smuggling Tunnel

Since 2006, authorities have discovered approximately 15 sophisticated tunnels along California’s border with Mexico.

Many tunnels, including the one disclosed Monday, are located in San Diego’s Otay Mesa industrial district, where clay-like terrain makes digging easy and warehouses provide cover.

The cross-border passageways have been used mostly to smuggle multi-ton quantities of marijuana since the early 1990s. They were mostly found in California and Arizona in 2020, according to the USA Drug Enforcement Administration, and were linked to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.

After tunnels are discovered, USA officials are required by law to plug the US side with concrete.


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