Man admits to smuggling cocaine via underwater tunnel across US-Mexico border

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A Honduran national admitted Wednesday in the federal court in San Diego that he tried to smuggle about 25 kilos cocaine across the Mexico-US border using an underwater tunnel, EFE reported.

Border Patrol agents discovered a soaked Evelio Padilla-Zepeda, 28, in a wetsuit next to the All-American Canal, about 7 miles east of Calexico, California, on April 25.

Near him, they found a breathing tank with a rebreather, to prevent surface bubbles, and 25 vacuum-sealed and giftwrapped packages, containing a total of 25 kilos of cocaine.

That led Border Patrol agents to the discovery of a 45 meter-long underwater tunnel that began in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico and ended under the water of the All-American Canal.

The drugs were put on a trolley system on the dry Mexico side of the tunnel and were transported until the end of the tunnel. Smugglers would then use scuba diving suits and gear to retrieve the drug from under the water.

Padilla-Zepeda, who had been living in Mexicali, says he was initially asked to help smuggle people across the border into the US, but was eventually forced to instead smuggle drugs.

The smuggler pleaded guilty to charges of narcotics possession with the intention to distribute in San Diego’s federal court and could now face up to 20 years in prison.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. The smuggler found near Calexico on April 25
2. Police finding breathing tank with a rebreather and 25 kilos of cocaine
3. The underwater tunnel
4. Cocaine packages going into the tunnel through a trolley system
5. Cocaine packages being recollected by smugglers underwater
6. People smuggling across border replaced by drug smuggling

VOICEOVER (in English):

“Border Patrol agents discovered a soaked Evelio Padilla-Zepeda in a wetsuit next to the All-American Canal, about 7 miles east of Calexico, California, on April 25.”

“Near him, they found a breathing tank with a rebreather to prevent surface bubbles, and 25 vacuum-sealed and giftwrapped packages, containing a total of 25 kilos of cocaine.”

“That led Border Patrol agents to the discovery of a 45 meter-long underwater tunnel that began in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico and ended under the water of the All-American Canal.”

“The drugs were put on a trolley system on the dry Mexico side of the tunnel. Then smugglers would use scuba diving gear to retrieve the drugs.”

“Padilla-Zepeda, who had been living in Mexicali, says he was initially asked to help smuggle people across the border into the US, but was eventually forced to instead smuggle drugs.”

SOURCES: FOX NEWS, EFE
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/08/20/arrest-man-in-scuba-gear-leads-to-us-mexico-border-tunnel-that-ends-underwater/
http://www.wradio.com.co/noticias/internacional/hondureno-reconoce-que-trafico-droga-por-un-tunel-submarino-de-mexico-a-eeuu/20150819/nota/2900204.aspx