September 4, 2008
The 150 yard-long passageway was found in northwest Mexico less than 65 yards from the US border and close to the California town of Calexico.
It was 1.4 yards wide and 5.4 yards below ground with an electric rail for transporting containers, ventilation, lights and air-conditioning, according to Juan Miguel Guillen, director of police in Mexico’s northern Baja California state.
Officials discovered the clandestine passage after reports of suspicious activity, including the presence of armed men, at a house in Mexicali, across the border from Calexico. They moved in and arrested eight suspects, found below ground digging the tunnel.
“The detainees confessed that they were looking after the building where a drug tunnel was being built,” Mr Guillen told Agence France Presse.
Agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration were conducting excavations to discover the planned exit point for the tunnel on US soil.
The tunnel’s lift was operated by a hydraulic pulley. Police also found a gun, digging tools and a truck used to cart away the excavated earth at the scene.