The Mexican Army discovered a cartel tunnel at the U.S.-Mexico Border several meters from a newly reinforced barrier. The entry was marked on a commercial property near the Tijuana airport adjacent to Otay Mesa, California.
The discovery occurred late Wednesday night at the outskirts of Colonia Ex Ejido Tampico, situated near Otay Mesa. Army personnel are currently securing the commercial property, according to initial reports. The army is currently waiting for a federal search warrant, according to General Pablo Alberto Lechuga Horta. He said it is unknown if drugs were found in the structure or if it was even completed into the United States. Three packages of what is believed to be marijuana were located on the property, according to local reports. General Lechuga Horta said more information would be released once available.
Initial reports by local media indicate the property was used for parking cargo trucks. U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) enforcement said it was aware of the discovery.
A newly reinforced border barrier–a 14-mile stretch between the Pacific Ocean and Otay Mesa–was completed last month for $147 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. The original barrier was constructed in the mid-1990s.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce completed work assignments in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year tour in Monterrey, Mexico, for the U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program. As the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico in charge of the Mexican states of, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas) You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.