The drug tunnel stretched the length of nearly six football fields and had lighting, ventilation and an electric rail system, authorities said Thursday.
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According to CNN, the tunnel was 35 feet deep, 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. And it was built by one of Mexico's most notorious criminal organizations, the Sinaloa cartel, US Attorney Laura Duffy told reporters.
And now three people are in custody and could face federal charges after investigators seized more than 8 tons of marijuana and 325 pounds of cocaine, worth about $12 million. linked to the tunnel, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.
$12 million worth of drugs (Photo: Reuters)
Six football fields long (Photo: Reuters)
Duffy said that authorities have a message for cartels tied to drug tunnels.
"If you continue to build and attempt to use these tunnels, we are determined to make this a big waste of your dirty money," she said. "Not only will we take your drugs and shut down your tunnels before you even get an opportunity to use them, but we're now in a position where we're going after your management."
The Sinaloa cartel, named after the Mexican state where the gang was formed, is one of the most powerful drug-trafficking groups in the nation.
Leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's nickname, which means "shorty," matches his 5-foot-6-inch frame, though he has climbed to great heights in the drug smuggling business. Forbes magazine has estimated that "El Chapo" is worth $1 billion.
The US Treasury Department has declared him the most influential trafficker in the world, and Mexican authorities have been on his tail since his 2001 escape from a Mexican prison in a laundry cart.
Officials said the drugs seized as part of this week's tunnel investigation had an estimated street value of nearly $12 million.
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