Two Drug Tunnels, with Rail Systems, Found at U.S.-Mexico Border

Dan Whitcomb, Yahoo! News, April 4, 2014

U.S. federal agents have uncovered two drug-smuggling tunnels underneath the U.S.-Mexico border, both surfacing in San Diego-area warehouses and equipped with rail systems for moving contraband, officials said on Friday.

The discovery led to the arrest of a 73-year-old woman accused of running one of the warehouses connected to a drug smuggling operation, according to a joint news release by four federal agencies.

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Federal law enforcement officials said the first tunnel, which connects a warehouse in Tijuana, Mexico, with one in an industrial park in the border community of Otay Mesa, is about 600 yards long and is furnished with lighting, a crude rail system and wooden trusses.

The passageway is accessed via a 70-foot shaft secured by a cement cover and includes a pulley system on the U.S. side apparently intended to hoist contraband up into the warehouse.

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The two tunnels are the sixth and seventh cross-border passageways discovered in the San Diego area in less than four years, according to the task force.

Since 2006, federal authorities have detected at least 80 cross-border smuggling tunnels, most of them in California and Arizona, and seized some 100 tons of narcotics associated with them.

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