U.S.-Mexico Tunnel Opening Found at Residence

Times Staff Writer

U.S. and Mexican authorities investigating a cross-border tunnel found the entrance in a middle-class residence in Mexicali, Mexico, and believe the passage ends about 100 yards north in a residential area of Calexico, Calif.

U.S. federal agents asked a judge for a search warrant Monday to enter a home near the border fence with Mexico. It was the third tunnel discovered in the area in 15 months.

Authorities suspect the tunnel was used to ferry drugs across the border.

“It appears to be one of the most sophisticated and elaborately constructed tunnels that we have discovered to date,” said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


The 3-foot-by-5-foot passage, which started in a back bedroom of the Mexicali home, is equipped with ventilation and lighting systems, and lined with wood beams for support.

Outside the entrance, a closed-circuit camera system provided security, Mexican authorities said.

The residence was found abandoned, and no arrests have been made.

The tunnel was discovered last week by U.S. federal agents using high-tech earth-probing equipment that detects subterranean anomalies.

Because of the possibility of a tunnel collapse, agents used a robot to pinpoint the location of the tunnel exit on the U.S. side.