U.S. authorities on Wednesday announced the discovery of the longest smuggling tunnel ever found on the Southwest border, stretching more than three-quarters of a mile from an industrial site in Tijuana, Mexico, to the San Diego area.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it featured an extensive rail/cart system, forced air ventilation, high voltage electrical cables and panels, an elevator at the tunnel entrance, and a complex drainage system.
“This one blows past (the second-longest),” said Lance LeNoir, a Border Patrol operations supervisor. “We never really thought they had the moxie to go that far. They continue to surprise me.”
Agents discovered several hundred sandbags blocking a suspected former exit of the tunnel in the Otay Mesa warehouse district within the U.S.
It was discovered by authorities in August but has only now been revealed.
San Diego customs official Cardell Morant said: “The sophistication and length of this tunnel demonstrates the time-consuming efforts transnational criminal organizations will undertake to facilitate cross-border smuggling.”
Authorities didn’t say who they believe was behind the tunnel but the area has been a stronghold of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. The cartel’s longtime leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was sentenced to life in U.S. prison in July.
Lost your password?
Sign me up for the newsletter!