[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/11/26/california.drug.tunnels/story.drug.seized.afp.gi.jpg caption="U.S. agents weigh marijuana seized from a tractor-trailer in San Diego, California, last Thursday." width=300 height=169]
Tonight on AC360° Anderson reports from inside the newest drug tunnel discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border, just south of San Diego.
Just like other tunnels found in the area in recent years, this is a sophisticated one with lighting and ventilation. Though, Anderson noticed some other things not seen in some of the other tunnels: wood walls and flooring and even rail carts used to move drugs.
What's also interesting is the southern starting point of the tunnel in Tijuana, Mexico. Anderson will take you inside the kitchen of a home where there is a 4 foot by 3 foot hole with a ladder leading into the tunnel. Inside the home there are also two rooms filled floor-to-ceiling with hundreds of dirt bags. As you might guess, the dirt was removed when the drug tunnel was built. They didn't want to discard the dirt in a dumpster. Instead they piled it up inside the house.
Once you climb down the ladder in the kitchen the tunnel covers a half-mile or about seven football fields into two Southern California warehouses.
Since the tunnel was discovered on Thanksgiving Day, authorities in the U.S. and Mexico have arrested at least eight suspects and seized up to 30 tons of marijuana. Last Thursday, authorities noticed a tractor-trailer arriving at one of the warehouses in Southern California. As the truck headed north, investigators followed it. When the truck stopped at a border patrol checkpoint in Temecula, California, about an hour north of San Diego, authorities said they found the truck stuffed with 27,000 600-pound packages of marijuana.
The agents also found huge packages of marijuana inside the tunnel and up to four tons of the drug inside the home in Mexico. Again, a total of up to 30 tons of pot discovered and linked to this one tunnel.
"This is obviously not a Mom and Pop operation," said Michael Unzuetta, special agent in charge for ICE Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego. "This discovery again shows the cartels' growing desperation in the face of beefed up border security and the costly extremes these organizations are trying in an effort to avoid detection," he added.
Join us for more on this story and tonight's other big stories at 10 p.m. ET on CNN. See you then.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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