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US Authorities Investigate Cross-Border Tunnel Near Jacumba

The inside of a cross-border tunnel discovered near Jacumba, Califonria, Oct....

Credit: Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Above: The inside of a cross-border tunnel discovered near Jacumba, Califonria, Oct. 4, 2018.

U.S. authorities are investigating an incomplete cross-border tunnel that Mexican authorities discovered more than 30 feet underground near Jacumba.

The tunnel starts in a house in Jacume, Baja California, with lights and ventilation powered by solar panels. It also has a rail system.

Cross-border tunnels are used for smuggling drugs and people into the U.S. A previous investigation by KPBS found that clandestine tunnels arose in parallel with fencing construction along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration found that the newly discovered tunnel has an exit shaft that doesn't quite break the surface of the U.S.

However, of the 627-foot length, about 336 feet "were inside the United States."

Border security experts say technologies to detect tunnels are "lacking." This tunnel was discovered during a Sept. 19 operation by Mexico State Police and the Mexican military "at a residence located approximately 221 feet south of the United States/Mexico international boundary."

Mexico's Attorney General did not immediately respond to a request for comment from KPBS regarding how the tunnel was found.

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