U.S. authorities on Wednesday seized a cross-border tunnel that ran the length of four football fields from a restaurant in Mexicali, Mexico, to a newly built house in Calexico, Calif., following an investigation that netted more than a ton of marijuana and resulted in four arrests.
The tunnel was the 12th completed secret passage that U.S. authorities have discovered along California’s border with Mexico since 2006. They have found more than 75 along the entire U.S.-Mexico border in the last five years, mostly in California and Arizona and many of them incomplete.
Drug traffickers allegedly purchased the Calexico property in April for $240,000 and finished building a three-bedroom house on the parcel for $86,000 by December. Prosecutors say the first tunnel shipment occurred Feb. 28, leading to the seizure of 1,350 pounds of marijuana in West Covina, near Los Angeles.
The tunnel extended about 300 yards in Mexico from El Sarape Mexican restaurant and ran about 100 yards on U.S. soil to the house in a quiet residential area of Calexico, a city of about 40,000 people located 120 miles east of San Diego.