Mexicans Arrested Digging Alleged Drug, People Smuggling Tunnel to San Diego

Mexican smugglers tunneled 860 feet ino the United States in an attempt to move drugs and illegal immigrants into the country.

The incomplete tunnel, equipped with a lift, ventilation and lighting, was discovered Tuesday after a tip-off from security agents. It begins in a warehouse district in Tijuana, near the busy Otay Mesa port of entry into San Diego, Calif., and extends nearly 1,000 feet, including 860 feet into U.S. territory. It even boasts a lift to move materials and workers to depths reaching 100 feet. The builders had not yet completed the exit on the U.S. side.

Mexican authorities arrested more than a dozen people inside the tunnel, which they believe has been under construction for about two years.

Mexican and U.S. authorities have been struggling to contain the huge cross-border drug smuggling trade. "As a result of our proactive efforts, we are detecting more and more of these tunnels before they can be finished and put to use by criminal organizations involved in smuggling drugs and other contraband,” said Michael Carney, agent in charge of the Office of Investigations in San Diego.

The latest find comes a month after Mexican soldiers discovered another incomplete 400-foot tunnel in Tijuana leading from a house west of the airport. It had electricity, ventilation system and walls were shored up with wood.

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