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Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Discovered in Nogales

Release Date: 
January 9, 2014

Tucson, Ariz. Federal authorities in the United States and Mexico foiled would-be smuggling attempts by discovering an incomplete, cross-border tunnel during a bi-national border sweep in Nogales, Ariz. 

Nogales Border Patrol agents assigned to the International Liaison Unit and the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), together with federal police from Mexico, located an incomplete tunnel yesterday west of the DeConcini Port of Entry. “BEST” is a multi-agency Department of Homeland Security initiative to identify, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations seeking to exploit vulnerabilities along U.S. borders.

After observing freshly disturbed dirt within the channel floor of a drainage system, authorities discovered a tunnel originating in Mexico and extending 133 feet into the United States.  The incomplete tunnel, measuring approximately three feet high, did not open up into the country.

Tunnels continue to be used by transnational criminal organizations attempting to operate in the southern-Arizona Corridor. Tucson Sector’s Border Patrol continues to work closely with strategic partners in Mexico to detect tunnels being constructed, and to prevent their completion prior to movement of illegal contraband or persons across the border. 

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017