Authorities have shut down a sophisticated smuggling tunnel between a San Diego industrial park and Tijuana, Mexico, and three suspects connected to the operation are in custody and facing charges, federal officials said on Thursday (October 31).
Federal agents confiscated more than 17,000 pounds of marijuana and 325 pounds of cocaine from throughout the tunnel, according to William Sherman, the Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent in Charge in San Diego.
SOUNDBITE: William Sherman, the Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent in Charge in San Diego, saying (English):
"This was the third one since 2011, we found them all before they could successfully get any drugs into the United States. They're doing it for the reasons I said, their traditional roots, their methods through the POE (point of entry) are failing at this point, they're very desperate, they're doing whatever they can to get into the U.S."
Officials noted that the tunnel had an electronic rail system, hydraulically operated doors, ventilation and electricity.
The passageway was shut down Wednesday (October 30) night.
Since 2008, more than 75 cross-border tunnels have been discovered on the Southwest border between the United States and Mexico.