Shortly after 1 a.m., Border Patrol agents encountered a number of people who had apparently just entered the United States. Agents searched the area and discovered a crude opening in the ground with a ladder inside and determined that is was a smuggling tunnel.
The tunnel’s exit is located near the intersection of Drucker Lane and La Media Road, just north of the secondary fence and west of the Otay Mesa port of entry.
The 30 undocumented immigrants are now in Border Patrol custody pending further questioning. There were 23 Chinese nationals — 21 men and two women — and seven Mexican nationals — 4 men and three women.
Several immigrants ran back to the border and went into the 328-foot tunnel, according to reports from the scene.
Members of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force, led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, are currently on scene investigating and in contact with Mexican law enforcement.
The Border Patrol said most tunnels under the border are used to smuggle drugs and it was unusual to find one used to smuggle immigrants. They said the newly discovered tunnel may be an extension of an incomplete tunnel previously discovered by Mexican authorities.
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