US Border Patrol “tunnel rats” shut down underground passages (video)

The U.S. Border Patrol descends into the depths of extensive underground tunnel systems used mainly by Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel to smuggle drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border agents, known as “tunnel rats,” patrol deep underneath the U.S.-Mexico border to measure and map out where these passages originate from and where they lead to. In addition, they also work on filling the passages with concrete to prevent smugglers from accessing the tunnels.

ABC News reports that tunnels on the U.S. side have been filled in with concrete while the ones in Mexico “are sealed but not plugged with concrete.” Mexican authorities allegedly “do not have the money to fill them,” which is garnering more public scrutiny.

The Associated Press (AP) captured footage of the “tunnel rats,” formerly known as the Border Tunnel Entry Team, as the agents venture inside an incomplete tunnel that was discovered in San Diego in 2009. Tunnels such as this one are often equipped with a rail system, lighting, and ventilation. It reportedly measures about 70 feet deep, 3 feet wide, and it roughly 2,700 feet long, reports ABC News.

Some tunnels are spacious enough for an agent, as shown in the video above, to walk upright without issues. The agent claims that the San Diego he is patrolling is “one of the larger tunnels” discovered in the area, though recalls that preceding passages have often required him to travel “on his hands and knees.”

According to AP, nearly 224 border tunnels that originate in Mexico have been discovered between 1990 and March 2016, of which, 185 crossed into the U.S.

H/T: ABC News

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