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Mexico police arrest 8 digging tunnel to U.S. border

September 3, 2008 | 11:01 am


Mexican authorities have arrested eight men after discovering a sophisticated tunnel, believed to be designed to ferry drugs, that nearly reached into U.S. territory, writes the L.A. Times' Richard Marosi.

Baja California state preventive police said Tuesday that they were acting on a tip when they raided a Mexicali home Monday afternoon and found some of the suspects hard at work in the passage, which was longer than a football field.

The tunnel's destination appeared to be a residential neighborhood across the border in Calexico. The tunnel appeared to be well financed and expertly constructed.

It had a rail-and-cart system, ventilation, lighting and an electric lift to transport items up and down the shaft, authorities said.

"What they had constructed was very sophisticated," said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, whose agents inspected the tunnel.

Read more about the tunnel under the U.S border fence here.

For more on drugs across Latin America, click here, and for our special report on Mexico Under Siege, click here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Photo: The border wall between Tijuana and San Diego

Credit: Deborah Bonello / Los Angeles Times.