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Massive Drug Tunnel Found In Otay Mesa

Tunnel stretches eight football fields in length from Otay Mesa to Tijuana

A drug tunnel linking Tijuana and Otay Mesa is pictured on Oct. 22, 2015. Kno...

Photo by Policía Federal

Above: A drug tunnel linking Tijuana and Otay Mesa is pictured on Oct. 22, 2015. Known as a super tunnel, its length equals that of eight football fields. It’s equipped with a rail system, lighting and ventilation.

Photo by Policía Federal

A Mexican law enforcement officer is pictured with 12 tons of marijuana found in a drug tunnel between Tijuana and Otay Mesa Oct. 22, 2015.

Authorities in the U.S. and Mexico seized 12 tons of marijuana and arrested 22 people after finding the tunnel, which equaled eight football fields in length.

Officials in the U.S. and Mexico arrested 22 people and seized about 12 tons of marijuana on Thursday after finding a drug smuggling tunnel linking Tijuana and Otay Mesa.

It’s the tenth large-scale tunnel found in the San Diego area since 2006. Known as a super tunnel, its length equals that of eight football fields. It’s equipped with a rail system, lighting and ventilation.

“We see a super tunnel open for business once every year or so,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “Just when they think they’re ready to move, we put it out of business.”

The smuggling tunnel connects two warehouses, one in Otay Mesa and one in Tijuana’s Garita Otay neighborhood. It runs about 32 feet deep, with two-thirds of its length in Mexico.

Mexico’s federal police arrested 16 people and seized 10 tons of drugs, while authorities in the U.S. arrested six people and seized about two tons of marijuana. The street value of the drug seizures is about $6 million.

The arrests and seizures were part of a six-month U.S. investigation involved Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol.

For several weeks, Mexico’s federal police were investigating the operation south of the border.

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