U.S. authorities found the longest smuggling tunnel ever discovered alongside the southwest border.
The tunnel originates in Tijuana, Mexico, close to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry and extends a complete of 4,309 ft lengthy — greater than three-quarters of a mile. The subsequent longest tunnel within the U.S., found in San Diego in 2014, was 2,966 ft lengthy.
“Whereas subterranean tunnels aren’t a brand new incidence alongside the California-Mexico border, the sophistication and size of this specific tunnel demonstrates the time-consuming efforts transnational felony organizations will undertake to facilitate cross-border smuggling,” Cardell Morant, performing particular agent in control of Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) San Diego, mentioned in a press launch. The investigation that led to the invention spanned a few years and concerned varied companies.
The tunnel contains a advanced cart and rail system, pressured air air flow, high-voltage electrical cables and panels, an elevator on the tunnel entrance and a fancy drainage system, in accordance with U.S. Border Patrol.
No arrests or seizures have been made at this level after the invention of the tunnel.
“The investigation continues, and I am confident that our hard work and dedication to uphold the law will lead to future arrests and seizures,” Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke mentioned.
The tunnel is roughly 5 and a half ft tall, 2 ft extensive and has a mean depth of 70 ft from the floor. An offshoot of the principle tunnel was found at round 3,500 ft into the U.S. It traveled a number of ft and got here to an finish with out breaching the floor. It led brokers again to the principle tunnel the place they found a number of hundred sandbags blocking the suspected former exit of the tunnel.
“As efforts to strengthen safety on our Southern border enhance, Mexican drug cartels are pressured underground to smuggle their lethal medication into the USA,” DEA Particular Agent in Cost John Callery mentioned. “The sophistication of this tunnel demonstrates the dedication and financial assets of the cartels.”