In a startling revelation, federal agents in the U.S. have disclosed the discovery of a clandestine cross-border underground passageway that was used by a drug cartel to smuggle pot.

On Wednesday, the authorities shared the unearthing of the 400-yard tunnel under a house in California. The passageway apparently runs from the three-bedroom house in Calexico to a restaurant in the industrial town of Mexicali in Mexico. Calexico has a population of 40,000 people and is 120 miles east of San Diego.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for southern California, the smugglers built the home to camouflage the tunnel's northern entrance, which is in Third Street in Calexico. The agents found the entrance in the house covered with tiles. Meanwhile, the southern end of the underground passageway is in an eatery named El Sarape in Mexicali.

The 400-yard long tunnel is equivalent to the distance of four football fields. This is no ordinary passageway as it has electricity, a rail system and lighting. The smugglers reportedly spent nearly $240,000 to acquire the land in April 2015 and shelled out $86,000 for the construction of the three-bedroom house, which is located 300 yards from the U.S.-Mexico border.

While the authorities have discovered several underground passageways over the years designed to smuggle drugs along the border, this is the first instance drug smugglers were known to have purposely acquired land to build a house with the intent of hiding a drug tunnel. This is also the first tunnel for the purpose found in Calexico in the last decade but the 12th near the Mexico-California border since 2006.

U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agents were able to trace the construction of the Calexico home thanks to wiretaps in October and November 2015. The court records revealed that the contractor was asked to leave a place vacant for a floor safe when laying the foundation. The agents believe this space was used as the exit for the tunnel.

The authorities said only the marijuana that the drug cartel shifted through the premises was intercepted. The agents were reportedly watching activities at the house and observing four suspects till the first marijuana load came in end February. On March 7, the authorities seized 1,350 pounds of marijuana which came through the passageway, according to federal documents.

"This house and tunnel were constructed under the watchful eye of law enforcement. For the builders, the financiers and the operators of these passageways, there is no light at the end of the tunnel," noted Laura Duffy, U.S. Attorney for southern California. 

A mother and daughter duo suspected to be a part of the drug cartel have been arrested on Tuesday in Nogales, Arizona. A day later, two men were arrested in Calexico by investigators. The authorities seized 1,532 pounds of marijuana as well.

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.