Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mexico Finds Drug Tunnel From Tijuana to California

Authorities have found what they call the largest and most sophisticated tunnel running into the United States along the Mexican border.

The tunnel, lined with concrete and equipped with ventilation and lights, is one kilometre-long, according to Mexican officials, but their US counterparts say it was only about 727m.

On the American side, agents found about 200 pounds of marijuana in the building in Otay Mesa, which had several bays for tractor-trailers. On the Mexican side, drug agents found a pulley system at the entrance to the shaft and several thousand pounds of marijuana and hauled it out for several hours Wednesday.Mexican police discovered the tunnel after being alerted by U.S. authorities who had uncovered the other end of the tunnel in a warehouse.

"The tunnel is absolutely amazing," said Michael Unzueta, special agent in charge for the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's San Diego office. "It is probably the biggest tunnel on the southern border so far."

Since Sept. 11, 2001, when border security was tightened, agents have uncovered 21 tunnels of varying degrees of length and sophistication, from "gopher holes" to engineered marvels like Wednesday's discovery, Mr. Unzueta said.


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