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US finds drug tunnel with rail system

SAN DIEGO — A recently discovered tunnel designed to smuggle drugs from Tijuana to San Diego was equipped with electricity, ventilation, and a rail system, US authorities said Thursday, making it one of the more sophisticated secret passages discovered along the Mexico border.

Authorities seized more than 8 tons of marijuana and 325 pounds of cocaine in connection with the discovery, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. Three suspects were in US custody.

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The tunnel links warehouses in Tijuana and San Diego’s Otay Mesa industrial area. The area is filled with nondescript warehouses, making it easier to conceal trucks being loaded with drugs.

The tunnel was found Wednesday and completed only recently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. Authorities did not say exactly when it was built or whether drugs are believed to have gotten through undetected.

As US border security has heightened on land, Mexican drug cartels have turned to ultralight aircraft, small fishing boats, and tunnels. More than 75 underground passages have been discovered since 2008.

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