According to authorities, the secret passage from Tijuana to San Diego included rail and ventilation systems, electricity, and reinforced walls. It was discovered near the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego, in an area where more than a dozen other intricate tunnels have been discovered in the last two decades.
Authorities in the United States said it was unclear how long the tunnel had been operational or how much drugs, if any, had passed through undetected. In connection with the investigation, they seized 1,762 pounds of cocaine, 165 pounds of meth, and 3.5 pounds of heroin.
Six people, ranging in age from 31 to 55, were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. They are all from Southern California.
The tunnel is located in one of the most heavily fortified sections of the border, demonstrating the limitations of border walls. While walls are effective against small, crudely built tunnels known as “gopher holes,” they are ineffective against more intricate passages that run much deeper underground.