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Two tunnels discovered at California-Mexico border

Federal authorities uncover two tunnels crossing the California-Mexico border

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.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

Times staff writer Tony Perry in San Diego contributed to this report.

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