After thwarting a group of alleged narcotics smugglers, federal agents discovered a 230-foot-long tunnel across California’s border with Mexico, the first of two tunnels discovered this week by border officials.
The tunnel -- which has a diameter of about 4 feet and included lighting and ventilation -- extended from a home in Mexicali, Mexico, to an area near the All-American Canal in Calexico, Calif., according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Border Patrol agents arrived at the area about 9:30 p.m. Saturday after spotting four men on surveillance video near the canal who were trying to bring narcotics into the U.S., officials said.
A man wearing a wetsuit in the canal was arrested, and officials found a collection of scuba equipment nearby, as well as 25 sealed packages of methamphetamine with a street value of about $700,000, officials said.
The man’s identity was not released. The three other men escaped to Mexico, officials said.
The tunnel was uncovered Monday after a separate Border Patrol unit canvassed the area where the arrest occurred, officials said.
On Tuesday, officials near the San Ysidro Port of Entry uncovered an unfinished tunnel after investigating a sinkhole, officials said.
That tunnel stretched more than 200 yards and began at a Tijuana home, but never opened onto American soil, officials said.
Federal and municipal authorities in Mexico aided U.S. investigators in tracking down the origins of each tunnel, officials said.
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Times staff writer Tony Perry in San Diego contributed to this report.