US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

U.S. Border Patrol Rescues Five Illegal Aliens from Crude Cross Border Tunnel

Release Date: 
November 2, 2011

Otay Mesa, Calif. - U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended five illegal aliens from Mexico this morning that became stuck while crawling through a makeshift tunnel which branched off of an abandoned gas line near the Otay Mesa port of entry.

At around midnight, agents observed several people enter a manhole on the south side of the U.S./Mexico International Boundary fence. Shortly after, a Border Patrol agent on patrol near the area discovered a man attempting to exit an opening in the ground in the block of Via de La Amistad. The man was stuck in the opening and informed the agent that there were four other people behind him.

Crude tunnel exits into the United States.

Crude tunnel exits into the United States.

The agent contacted dispatch who requested assistance from both the San Diego and Chula Vista Fire Departments who responded to evaluate the situation. Within one hour, rescue teams extracted five Mexican nationals from the tunnel. One female and four males were evaluated and determined to be in good health with no physical injuries. Border Patrol agents took custody of the group and transported them to a local Border Patrol station for processing and further investigation.

The San Diego Tunnel Task Force, comprised of agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Border Patrol, will examine the makeshift tunnel to remedy the compromised area. To report suspicious activity related to cross-border tunnels, please contact the Tunnel Task Force tip line at (708) 872-7847 (USBPTIP) or

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017