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Drug "Supertunnel" With 8 Tons Of Weed And 325 Pounds Of Coke Discovered Under U.S.-Mexico Border

Federal agents discovered what might be the world’s most sophisticated series of drug smuggling tunnels, equipped with electricity, ventilation and an electronic rail system.

A “supertunnel” snaking 600 yards from Tijuana into San Diego is one of the most sophisticated drug smuggling passageways ever discovered by federal authorities, the New York Times reported.

AP Photo/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Paul Caffrey

Federal agents seized eight tons of marijuana and 325 pounds of cocaine from the tunnel, which was shut down on Wednesday night. Three people were also taken into custody.

AP Photo/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Paul Caffrey

The tunnel, which took a year to build, was equipped with electricity, ventilation and an electric rail system, costing more than a million dollars to build — an investment only a well-financed cartel could afford, a special agent told The New York Times.

Law enforcement officials approach the door of an office where authorities discovered the 1760 foot cross border drug smuggling tunnel on Thursday, Oct. 31 in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

The tunnel was the fifth such large-scale tunnel discovered in San Diego since 2010, said authorities. Smuggling along this part of the border has been controlled by the Sinaloa drug cartel since 2006.

AP Photo/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Paul Caffrey

The tunnel was shut down before the large consignment of narcotics could reach U.S. markets, delivering a blow for the cartel, said Derek Benner, a Homeland Security agent in San Diego.

A ladder at the entrance to the cross border tunnel located underneath a warehouse in Tijuana. Stringer/Mexico / Reuters

This is the first time cocaine was seized in a tunnel operation of this kind, according to authorities.

AP Photo/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Paul Caffrey

Drug smuggling operations use the cover offered by warehouse districts on both sides of the border. However, no more drug tunnels are known to currently be in operation in the San Diego area, said authorities.

Mexican army soldiers guard the entrance to the warehouse where the tunnel was found in Tijuana, Mexico. AP Photo/Alex Cossio

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Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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