Secret, Sophisticated Border Tunnel Found - NBC 7 San Diego

Secret, Sophisticated Border Tunnel Found



    A sophisticated underground border tunnel was discovered this week. (Published Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009)

    Stopped in its tracks, but still a threat to the U.S.

    A sophisticated underground border tunnel was discovered this week feet away from crossing the U.S./Mexico border into San Diego County.

    Mexican authorities discovered the tunnel at a vacant warehouse in Tijuana. It was only ten feet underground, which agents say is fairly shallow compared to others they've found. However, they say this is a very sophisticated tunnel with electricity and flowing oxygen.

    It’s 300 feet long, but stops just short of crossing the border into the U.S. Agents believe it was still under construction.

    When tunnels do cross into the United States and are discovered, the U.S. will fill them in, and seal them off.

    Unfortunately, Mexico does not have the same policy. So, ICE agents say this most recent tunnel could potentially remain a threat.

    "It's a very viable threat and they were almost there. So, if they don't remediate that tunnel in Mexico, they could use what's already built, and veer off and go into the United States," U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement spokesperson Tim Durst said.

    There have been more than two-dozen tunnels found along the U.S. Mexico border over the past year -- which is more than last year, or the year before.

    ICE does say the agency is working with Mexican authorities and other U.S. law enforcement agencies to improve intelligence gathering and test out new technology, like radars, to help find border tunnels.