New drug tunnels found under US-Mexico border
By Dialogo July 13, 2012
LOS ANGELES — U.S. and Mexican authorities have unearthed a 240-yard-long (219-meter-long) drug smuggling tunnel under their joint border in the state of Arizona, the latest such find in the violence-scarred region, U.S. officials said July 12.
The “sophisticated” six-foot-high by two-foot-wide (1.8-meter by 0.6-meter) tunnel, equipped with lighting and ventilation and located 55 feet (17 meters) underground, was discovered on July 9 when officers raided a business in the Arizona town of San Luis that concealed the U.S. entrance.
Three people were arrested, according to a statement about the U.S. operation by federal and local law enforcement bodies.
The U.S. raid was coordinated with the Mexican military, which entered an ice-making plant in the Mexican border town of San Luis Río Colorado.
The tunnel’s Arizona entrance was located in a storage room hidden beneath a large water tank, in a one-story “nondescript” building. U.S authorities had been monitoring the business since January due to “suspicious activity.”
The discovery “is yet another reminder of how desperate these criminal organizations are and the extent they will go to further their drug dealing operations,” said Doug Coleman of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“The DEA continues to work with our counterparts nationally and internationally to bring to justice these drug trafficking organizations as well as to block their smuggling routes into this country,” he said.
Separately, to the far west of the border, the Mexican army found a tunnel that was being built in Tijuana in a warehouse some 300 meters (984 feet) from the border.
“A tunnel under construction was found by a patrol while on an observation mission,” General Gilberto Landeros, commander of the II Military Zone, told reporters. The soldiers became suspicious when they saw a person running out of the area.
The Tijuana tunnel was 10 meters (33 feet) deep and about 150 meters (492 feet) long.
[AFP, 12/07/12; Univision.com (Mexico) 12/07/12]