183-Foot Drug Smuggling Tunnel Found Under California-Mexico Border

183-Foot Drug Smuggling Tunnel Found Under California-Mexico
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An international law enforcement effort led to the discovery and shutdown of a 183-foot tunnel being built to smuggle drugs, weapons, and people under the border into California. The sophisticated tunnel utilized electricity, a ventilation system, a rail system, and an electric hoist to move their illicit cargo from Mexico to the U.S.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations special agents teamed up with Mexican law enforcement officials in Mexicali, Baja California, to locate and seize a sophisticated smuggling tunnel on August 2, according to information obtained from ICE officials.

The team discovered a tunnel inside a home in Mexicali located along the border with California, officials stated. The tunnel ran approximately 183 feet at about 22 feet below the surface to a location approximately three feet north of the border wall in Calexico, California, officials reported.

While the tunnel did not yet have an exit in California, the entrance to the three-foot by four-foot tunnel measured approximately 12 feet by ten feet and utilized an electric hoist to lower the people or drugs underground. The drug traffickers installed an electrical system, ventilation, and a rail cart system to move their cargo through the tunnel.

“These types of tunnels enable drug traffickers to conduct illicit activities virtually undetected across the U.S.–Mexico border,” Cardell T. Morant, special agent in charge of HSI San Diego said in a written statement. “Discovering and shutting down these tunnels deals a major blow to drug trafficking organizations because it denies them the ability to smuggle drugs, weapons, and people across the border.”

“This is an ongoing HSI-led investigation with assistance from the El Centro Sector Border Patrol and the government of Mexico, HSI officials noted. “The HSI San Diego Tunnel Task Force thanks the government of Mexico for its cooperation in this investigation.”

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