Mar 1, 2012 1:14 PM
NOGALES - Immigration and Customs and Enforcement agents have shut down a recently-completed border tunnel this morning - they also found 550 pounds of marijuana inside.
The 110-foot long tunnel runs about five feet under the ground from a front yard in Nogales, Mexico, to an opening on an embankment south of a warehouse at Nelson St. and East International St. in Nogales, Arizona, according to a news release from Customs and Border Protection. The U.S. entrance was well concealed by natural vegetation and rocks.
The tunnel is about two-feet-wide by two-feet-tall, with limited wooden shoring and no ventilation or electrical equipment. ICE agents and Mexican Federal Police entered both ends of the tunnel simultaneously, but no people were found inside, the CBP release states. Mexican federal authorities seized 550 pounds of bundled marijuana found inside. Evidence in the tunnel suggests it was completed just this week.
"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. "In doing so, we will make our communities safer."
This is the 22nd cross-border tunnel to be discovered by federal authorities in the Nogales area in the last three years.