Tunnel beneath U.S.-Canada border regarded as threat to national security (KOMO-TV, Seattle)
After monitoring its construction for several months, federal agents arrested three Canadians in connection with an elaborate smuggling tunnel at the U.S.-Canada border in Washington state.
Border Patrol officials, who provided video of the tunnel, said it was the first discovered on the northern border. Thirty-three tunnels have been found along the U.S.-Mexican border in California and Arizona.
Police said the tunnel, about 360 feet long, was used for smuggling marijuana, but it also was a threat to national security.
Officials said they were certain, however, that no weapons went through.
The tunnel ran from an abandoned greenhouse in British Columbia to an abandoned house near Lynden, Wash.
Border Patrol spokesman Joe Guliano told KOMO-TV in Seattle that officials allowed the smugglers to finish the costly structure to find out who was behind it.
“To fill the thing with cement when it’s half done doesn’t answer those questions,” Guliano said
The tunnel was reinforced with concrete and lumber.
“It had ventilation, it had electricity, and again, one of the most sophisticated tunnels seen by law enforcement,” said Rod Benson, special agent in charge with the DEA.
Arrested were 30-year-old Francis Devandra Raj , 34-year-old Timothy Woo and 27-year-old Johnathan Valenzuela. All are from Surrey, British Columbia.
They were charged today in a U.S. District Court in Seattle with conspiracy to import and distribute marijuana.