US border officials have discovered the longest ever smuggling tunnel underneath the US/Mexico border.
Stretching from a small industrial building in Tijuana, Mexico, into the San Diego area, it features an extensive rail/cart system, forced air ventilation, high voltage electrical cables and panels, a lift at the entrance, and a complex drainage system.
It extends 4,309 ft (1,313 meters), 1,000 ft more than the previous longest, again found in the San Diego area, in 2014.
The newly discovered tunnel is about 5.5 feet (1.68 meters) tall and two feet (0.61 meters) wide and runs at an average depth of 70 feet (21.3 meters) below the surface, officials said.
Customs and drug enforcement agents are waging a constant, and some would say losing battle against the smuggling of people and drugs into the US from Mexico.
John Callery of the US Drug Enforcement Administration said: “These are probably the darkest times that we’ve seen as an agency as far as the deadliness of the drugs.
“We know that fentanyl is in almost all the heroin trafficking across the border from Mexico into the United States and we know that methamphetamine is still a major killer in our area of the country, in Southern California.
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“So, I have no doubt that if drugs were smuggled, smuggled in this tunnel that it was heroin laced with fentanyl. I would, that’s a 99 percentile answer on that.”
Agents who uncovered the tunnel found the exit on the US side disguised with several hundred sandbags. It went under a series of warehouses in San Diego’s Otay Mesa area, where sophisticated tunnels have typically ended, and extended into open fields.
So far there have been no arrests in connection with the find.