The “longest smuggling tunnel ever found” has been discovered by U.S. authorities. CNN reported that it was discovered by US Customs and Border Protection and its partners following a multiyear investigation. It originates in Tijuana, Mexico, near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry and extends a total of 4,309 feet long. It is approximately 5 and a half feet tall, 2 feet wide and has an average depth of 70 feet from the surface.
“While subterranean tunnels are not a new occurrence along the California-Mexico border, the sophistication and length of this particular tunnel demonstrates the time-consuming efforts transnational criminal organizations will undertake to facilitate cross-border smuggling,” Cardell Morant, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego, said in a press release.
According to U.S. Border Patrol, the tunnel has a complex cart and rail system, forced air ventilation, high-voltage electrical cables and panels, an elevator at the tunnel entrance and a complex drainage system. Fox News reported that no arrests or seizures have been made at this point after the tunnel’s discovery.
Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said, “the investigation continues, and I am confident that our hard work and dedication to uphold the law will lead to future arrests and seizures.”
“As efforts to strengthen security on our Southern border increase, Mexican drug cartels are forced underground to smuggle their deadly drugs into the United States,” DEA Special Agent in Charge John Callery said. “The sophistication of this tunnel demonstrates the determination and monetary resources of the cartels.”