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Feds Expose Longest Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Ever Discovered On Southwest Border
drug tunnel
Photos: CBP

Federal law enforcement officials with the U.S. Border Patrol exposed the longest illicit cross-border tunnel ever discovered along the Southwest border on Wednesday in San Diego, California.

“The tunnel originates in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico in an industrial area approximately one-half-mile west of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry,” CBP said in a statement. “Following the discovery in late August 2019, Mexican law enforcement identified the tunnel entrance and members of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force (SDTTF) began mapping the tunnel from Mexico.”

“Concealed by a small industrial building, the tunnel travels north into the U.S. bending slightly west and extending an astonishing 4,068 ft. from the border, with a total length of 4,309 ft.; over three-quarters of a mile,” CBP added. “The next longest tunnel in the U.S., discovered in San Diego in 2014, was 2,966 feet long.”

CBP said that the discovery of the illicit tunnel was the outcome of a “a challenging multi-year, inter-agency investigation, utilizing technology capabilities, intelligence gathering, and community outreach.”

Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke said, “I am thrilled that this high level narco-tunnel has been discovered and will be rendered unusable for cross-border smuggling. I am proud of the tremendous efforts of the Tunnel Task Force and our agents.”

Cardell T. Morant, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego, said, “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. This discovery underscores the importance of the partnerships HSI has with the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO), United States Border Patrol (USBP), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other regional agencies, as collaborative investigations and community outreach are key to combating this type of threat.”

“The tunnel, that is approximately five and a half feet tall and two feet wide, has an average depth of 70 ft. from the surface,” the statement continued. “It includes 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.”

“An offshoot from the main tunnel was discovered at approximately 3,529 ft. into the U.S.  This offshoot traveled several feet then came to an end without breaching the surface,” the statement added. “The main tunnel extended another city block at which point agents discovered several hundred sand bags blocking the suspected former exit of the tunnel in the Otay Mesa warehouse district within the U.S.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery said, “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. The sophistication of this tunnel demonstrates the determination and monetary resources of the cartels.  And although the cartels will continue to use their resources to try and breach our border, the DEA and our partners on the Tunnel Task Force will continue to use our resources to ensure they fail, that our border is secure, and that tunnels like this are shut down to stem the flow of deadly drugs entering the United States.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Feds Expose Longest Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Ever Discovered On Southwest Border