Drug Tunnel Discovered

July 13, 2012


In Arizona, authorities have discovered a 240 yard tunnel dug 55 feet underground that runs from San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, and ends inside a one-story, nondescript building in San Luis, Arizona.

The feds began watching the building in Arizona following a drug bust wherein a truck was stopped carrying 39 pounds of methamphetamines and was traced back to the building.  Authorities were suspicious that the building was being used as a stash site.  

The only thing found inside the building and inside the ice plant were bags and barrels of dirt, no drugs.

Authorities have detained 3 individuals in connection with the “sophisticated drug smuggling tunnel”.  The type of tunnel built was not something an ordinary miner could have designed.  “Engineering expertise” was used in the construction, according to the DEA, and is estimated to have cost $1.5 million to build.

Two additional tunnels were also discovered in the last week.  The other two were near the Tijuana / San Diego area and were incomplete.  One was discovered beneath a warehouse found to have more than 40 tons of marijuana inside four trucks, pickaxes, wheelbarrows, a trailer of dirt, drills and other excavation equipment. Additionally, the tunnel contained a rail car system.  The tunnels were 400 yards in length, 100 yards being in the United States.

Tunnels are not a new way of smuggling drugs.  Since 2008, more than 70 tunnels have been discovered.  More than 150 secret tunnels have been found along the border since 1990, the vast majority of them incomplete, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Raids last November on two tunnels linking San Diego and Tijuana netted a combined 52 tons of marijuana on both sides of the border. The tunnels are concentrated along the border in California and Arizona. San Diego is popular because its clay-like soil is easy to dig. In Nogales, Ariz., smugglers tap into vast underground drainage canals.