- REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
One of the most sophisticated drug tunnels ever built was discovered recently in San Diego, Calif., after an informant tipped off officials of its presences.
The tunnel, equipped with an electrical rail system, ventilation and lighting, connected San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, U.S. authorities said.
Three suspected drug smugglers were arrested Thursday and roughly $12 million worth of marijuana and cocaine were recovered, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"Once again, we've succeeded in taking down a smuggling tunnel before it was fully operational. This action is another huge setback for the Mexican cartels, which invest vast amounts of time and money to build them. These criminal organizations should not mistakenly believe tunnels will be their ticket to success," John Sandweg, acting director for ICE, said in a statement.
With the continued crackdown on illegal smuggling operations drug cartels have been developing other and more creative means to move their drugs.
Earlier this year authorities recovered "a powerful improvised cannon used to hurl packets of marijuana across a border fence into California" that had been found on several occasions in the last few months, according to local reports.
The cannon was "made up of a plastic pipe and a crude metal tank that used compressed air from the engine of an old car," according to KWTV. It was capable of shooting 30 pound packages filled with drugs over 500 feet across the border.
U.S. Border Patrol agents revealed that they recovered 33 canisters filled with marijuana after they were spotted in a field. The agents stated that as security is improved along the border, the cartels have developed new methods to get their drugs into America.
Authorities stated that the canisters of marijuana were discovered in a field close to where the Colorado River crosses the U.S.-Mexico border. The canisters are thought to have arrived in the field after being launched about 500 feet into the U.S. using a pneumatic cannon.