Two drug tunnels, with rail systems, found at U.S.-Mexico border

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Two drug tunnels, with rail systems, found at U.S.-Mexico border
One of the properties that was interconnected by tunnels in the city's drainage system that infamous drug boss Joaquin Guzman Loera, "El Chapo" used to evade authorities is shown, in Culiacan, Mexico, Sunday Feb. 23, 2014. A day after Mexican troops narrowly missed the infamous Guzman in Culiacan, one of his top aides was arrested. Officials said he told investigators that he picked up Guzman from a drainage pipe and helped him flee to Mazatlan but a wiretap being monitored by ICE agents in southern Arizona provided the final clue that led to the arrest of one of the world's most wanted men. (AP Photo/Adriana Gomez)
File-This June 4, 2010 file photo shows Mexican army soldiers standing guard next to a tunnel at the border wall in Tijuana, Mexico. More than 75 such underground passages have been found along the border since 2008, concentrated largely in California and Arizona. The job of searching these networks can be dangerous, so the U.S. Border Patrol is unveiling its latest technology in the underground war, a wireless, camera-equipped robot that can do the job in a fraction of the time. (AP Photo,File)
File-This Jan. 25, 2006 file photo shows a Mexican federal police officer reaches down to assist a Mexican army soldier after climbing up a ladder from a sophisticated clandestine tunnel that passes under the US-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico. T(AP Photo/David Maung,File)
File-This July 8, 2004 file photo shows a Mexican federal agent crawls through a hidden tunnel, presumably used to transport drugs from Mexico to the U.S. The job of searching these networks can be dangerous, so the U.S. Border Patrol is unveiling its latest technology in the underground war, a wireless, camera-equipped robot that can do the job in a fraction of the time. (AP Photo/David Maung)
File-This Nov. 4, 2010 file photo shows a Mexican Army soldier using a flashlight to shows reporters a tunnel connecting warehouses on either side of California's border with Mexico in Tijuana. More than 75 such underground passages have been found along the border since 2008, concentrated largely in California and Arizona. The job of searching these networks can be dangerous, so the U.S. Border Patrol is unveiling its latest technology in the underground war, a wireless, camera-equipped robot that can do the job in a fraction of the time. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
Mexican army soldiers guard the entrance to a warehouse where a cross border tunnel used for drug smuggling was found in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. The tunnel was equipped with lighting, ventilation and an electric rail system, U.S. authorities said Thursday, making it one of the most sophisticated secret passages discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border. (AP Photo/Alex Cossio)
An Oct. 31, 2013, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows agents in a tunnel designed to smuggle drugs from Tijuana, Mexico, to San Diego. The tunnel is equipped with electricity, ventilation and a rail system, U.S. authorities said. Authorities seized more than 8 tons of marijuana and 325 pounds of cocaine in connection with the discovery, ICE said. (AP Photo/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Paul Caffrey)
Mexican army soldiers guard the entrance to a warehouse where a cross border tunnel used for drug smuggling was found in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. The tunnel was equipped with lighting, ventilation and an electric rail system, U.S. authorities said Thursday, making it one of the most sophisticated secret passages discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border. (AP Photo/Alex Cossio)
This Oct. 31, 2013 photo provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows agents with bales of some of more than eight tons of marijuana and cocaine seized from a tunnel designed to smuggle drugs from Tijuana, Mexico, to San Diego. The tunnel links warehouses in Tijuana and San Diego's Otay Mesa industrial area. (AP Photo/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Paul Caffrey)
FILE - This file photo released Friday, Nov. 26, 2010, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows a cross-border tunnel that authorities say was used as a major underground drug passage. The tunnel was 2,200 feet long, more than seven football fields, and ran from the kitchen of a home in Tijuana, Mexico, to two warehouses in San Diego's Otay Mesa industrial district. Mexican trucker Daniel Navarro was sentenced Monday, Nov. 28, 2011, to nearly 16 years in prison for his role in two major drug tunnels along the U.S.-Mexico border federal Authorities who raided the tunnels seized about 50 tons of marijuana. (AP Photo/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, File)
A Mexican Army soldier stand guard inside a clandestine tunnel connecting warehouses on either side of California's border with Mexico in Tijuana, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010. Federal authorities in San Diego made one of the largest marijuana seizures in the United States, confiscating more than 20 tons of pot that was smuggled to the country through the underground tunnel that had lighting, ventilation and a rail system to send loads of illegal drugs into California. Mexican authorities also seized more than four tons of drug from the warehouse on their side. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
A clandestine tunnel connecting warehouses on either side of California's border with Mexico is shown in Tijuana, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010. Federal authorities in San Diego made one of the largest marijuana seizures in the United States, confiscating more than 20 tons of pot that was smuggled to the country through the underground tunnel that had lighting, ventilation and a rail system to send loads of illegal drugs into California. Mexican authorities also seized more than four tons of drug from the warehouse on their side. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
File-This Nov. 4, 2010 file photo shows a Mexican Army soldier standing guard inside a clandestine tunnel connecting warehouses on either side of California's border with Mexico in Tijuana. More than 75 such underground passages have been found along the border since 2008, concentrated largely in California and Arizona. The job of searching these networks can be dangerous, so the U.S. Border Patrol is unveiling its latest technology in the underground war, a wireless, camera-equipped robot that can do the job in a fraction of the time. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
A Mexican Army soldier uses a flashlight to shows reporters a tunnel connecting warehouses on either side of California's border with Mexico in Tijuana, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010. Federal authorities in San Diego made one of the largest marijuana seizures in the United States, confiscating more than 20 tons of pot that was smuggled to the country through the underground tunnel that had lighting, ventilation and a rail system to send loads of illegal drugs into California. Mexican authorities also seized more than four tons of drug from the warehouse on their side. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
Mexican Army soldiers custody the entrance of a clandestine tunnel connecting warehouses on either side of California's border with Mexico in Tijuana, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010. Federal authorities in San Diego made one of the largest marijuana seizures in the United States, confiscating more than 20 tons of pot that was smuggled to the country through the underground tunnel that had lighting, ventilation and a rail system to send loads of illegal drugs into California. Mexican authorities also seized more than four tons of drug from the warehouse on their side. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
A cameraman takes footage inside a tunnel near the US-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009. Mexican soldiers have discovered a secret tunnel complete with electricity and an air supply that may have been planned for smuggling migrants or drugs under the U.S. border into San Diego (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
**FILE** A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent looks down a shaft of a tunnel that leads from the U.S. into Mexico in this Jan. 30, 2006 file photo in San Diego. Federal law enforcement agents arrested Mexican drug lord Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix, a leader of a major violent gang responsible for digging these elaborate tunnels to smuggle drugs under the U.S. border, a Justice Department official said Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)
**FILE** A Mexican federal police officer shines his flashlight on the ground of a tunnel that passes under the U.S.-Mexico border on in this Jan. 25, 2006 file photo in Tijuana, Mexico. Federal law enforcement agents arrested Mexican drug lord Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix, a leader of a major violent gang responsible for digging these elaborate tunnels to smuggle drugs under the U.S. border, a Justice Department official said Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006. (AP Photo/David Maung, File)
A Mexican federal agent crawls through a hidden tunnel, presumably used to transport drugs from Mexico to the U.S., while being filmed by a television reporter on Thursday, July 8, 2004 in Tijuana, Mexico. The tunnel, which starts in an abandoned house in Tijuana, crosses under the U.S. border wall. (AP Photo/David Maung)
A Mexican news photographer takes a picture looking down into the opening of a tunnel discovered by police that connected a ranch house on the Mexican border to a house on the U.S. side., Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002, near the border city of Tecate, Mexico. Over the past decade, officials have discovered at least 16 tunnels along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, all thought to be used for smuggling drugs. . (AP Photo/David Maung)
A member of the media descends a 64 foot shaft into the 1,452 foot tunnel that Mexican drug agents discovered leading from Tijuana into the United States in Tijuana on June 4, 1993. (AP Photo/Joan Fahrenthold)
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(Reuters) - U.S. federal agents have uncovered two drug-smuggling tunnels underneath the U.S.-Mexico border, both surfacing in San Diego-area warehouses and equipped with rail systems for moving contraband, officials said on Friday.

The discovery led to the arrest of a 73-year-old woman accused of running one of the warehouses connected to a drug smuggling operation, according to a joint news release by four federal agencies.

The tunnels were discovered as part of a five-month investigation by the so-called San Diego Tunnel Task Force.

Federal law enforcement officials said the first tunnel, which connects a warehouse in Tijuana, Mexico, with one in an industrial park in the border community of Otay Mesa, is about 600 yards long and is furnished with lighting, a crude rail system and wooden trusses.

The passageway is accessed via a 70-foot shaft secured by a cement cover and includes a pulley system on the U.S. side apparently intended to hoist contraband up into the warehouse.

The second tunnel was even more sophisticated, built with a multi-tiered electric rail system and an array of ventilation equipment.

"Here we are again, foiling cartel plans to sneak millions of dollars of illegal drugs through secret passageways that cost millions of dollars to build," U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement.

"Going underground is not a good business plan. We have promised to locate these super tunnels and keep powerful drug cartels from taking their business underground and out of sight, and once again, we have delivered on that promise," Duffy said.

The two tunnels are the sixth and seventh cross-border passageways discovered in the San Diego area in less than four years, according to the task force.

Since 2006, federal authorities have detected at least 80 cross-border smuggling tunnels, most of them in California and Arizona, and seized some 100 tons of narcotics associated with them.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Huge Drug Tunnels Found Near San Diego


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