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Half Mile Drug Tunnel Found Between San Diego and Tijuana

Mexican authorities on Wednesday uncovered a nearly half-mile tunnel used for smuggling drugs from Tijuana to San Diego. The passage was about 9 feet deep, and contained more than 20,000 pounds of marijuana. The tunnel was well-built, officials said, with ventilation and lighting, as well as solid structural beams to thwart a possible collapse. About two-thirds of the tunnel was on the Mexican side, and it is unknown if it has been linked to any specific drug trafficking organizations. It was also unclear as to whether the tunnel was completed on the US side, or if any drugs had passed through.

The tunnel found this week resembles the one used to free Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman from a Mexican prison in July. Guzman is the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, which controls most of the drug trade in Tijuana and throughout Baja California. Both tunnels had rail systems in place, though it was unclear if the latest tunnel contained a motorcycle like the one El Chapo used to escape. Dozens of elaborate tunnels have been found during the last few years. The Southern California-Northern Baja California region is popular for these tunnels because of clay-rich soil that's easy to excavate and both sides of the border have plenty of warehouses to provide cover for clandestine operations.

October 15, 2015