Federal authorities said Wednesday that a half-mile, cross-border tunnel discovered in Otay Mesa Saturday is the longest drug tunnel to be found along the California-Mexico border ever.

The zig-zagging passage, which runs from a flophouse in Tijuana to a fenced-in lot advertised as a wooden pallet business, is estimated to be about 2,600 feet — or about nine football fields long. U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said the tunnel was sophisticated, complete with railing and ventilation systems and lighting. On the Tijuana side, the tunnel ended at a large elevator that ascended into a closet in the house.

During the investigation, authorities seized 2,242 pounds of cocaine and 14,000 pounds of marijuana suspected of being transported through the tunnel into the United States. It was likely the largest single seizure of cocaine ever related to a tunnel on the California-Mexico border, Duffy said.

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