Photo: Narco Tunnel Found in Nogales - Arizona
The Tucson Sector Border Patrol, a component of the Joint Field Command-Arizona, discovered another illicit tunnel yesterday in Nogales, just six days after their earlier find of a smaller tunnel in the same town.
The latest tunnel is 319 feet long and extends 219 feet into the United States and 100 feet into Mexico. It is approximately 20 feet below the surface and measures three feet wide by two feet tall. This tunnel is more sophisticated than other recently discovered tunnels. It appears to have been chiseled through solid rock and was equipped with various digging tools, saws, electricity, lighting, water pumps, plywood shoring and 4x4 support beams.
While securing the tunnel, Nogales Border Patrol agents also found 26 bundles of marijuana weighing more than 430 pounds and worth approximately $215,000. The narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations is the lead investigative agency. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will handle the tunnel remediation.
By increasing the likelihood of being detected by Border Patrol agents and the penalties associated with illicit activity, transnational criminal organizations have become desperate as demonstrated by their continued attempts to move their operations underground.
The Tucson Sector works closely with strategic partners such as ICE HSI, DEA, and Mexican authorities to monitor activity associated with existing and new tunnel infrastructure, making it increasingly difficult for smugglers to operate with impunity and transport their contraband throughout the United States.