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Latino Daily News

Friday March 2, 2012

Agents Find Another Drug Smuggling Tunnel at Arizona-Mexico Border, 550lbs of Marijuana Inside

Agents Find Another Drug Smuggling Tunnel at Arizona-Mexico Border, 550lbs of Marijuana Inside

Photo: Agents Find Another Drug Smuggling Tunnel at Arizona.-Mexico Border, 550lbs of Marijuana Inside

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Another smuggling tunnel has been found long this U.S.-Mexico border, this time in Arizona.

The Department of Homeland Security says federal agents discovered the tunnel Thursday, which ran underneath Nogales, AZ. No one was found in the tunnel 110-foot tunnel, though agents did recover about 550 pounds of marijuana.

Agents said the tunnel is about 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide and had only been in use for about a week. Wooden support was placed along the underground tunnel, but it had no ventilation or electricity.

The initial search of the tunnel had Mexican authorities entering from one end, while DHS agents entered from the Arizona side.

In Mexico, the opening to the tunnel was in the yard of a property in Nogales and the other end opened up in Nogales, AZ, where the entrance was hidden by rocks and plants.

“The discovery of this tunnel is yet another example of the power of collaboration between HSI, Border Patrol and the SSP,” said Kevin Kelly, assistant special agent in charge of HSI Nogales. “Through vigilance and close cooperation, we were able to shut down this passageway before it was used to bring significant amounts of narcotics into the United States.”

“Through partnerships, intelligence sharing and coordination we will continue to realize success in our collective efforts to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations operating in our area,” said Chief Patrol Agent Rick Barlow with the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector. “In doing so, we will make our communities safer.”

In the last three years, federal authorities have discovered and shut down 22 completed cross-border smuggling tunnels in the Nogales area.