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Nogales Agents Discover Second Illicit Tunnel

Release Date: 
November 22, 2011

Tucson, Ariz. -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.

Tunnel discovery in Nogales, Ariz.

Drugs seized in connection with Nogales Tunnel Discovery

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. (Photos available)

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.

Tunnel discovery in Nogales, Ariz.

Drugs seized in connection with Nogales Tunnel Discovery

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.

Inside of tunnel discovered in Nogales, Ariz.

View of drug tunnel with shoring and water

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.

Customs and Border Protection appreciates assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity by calling the Border Patrol at (1-877) 872-7435 and remain anonymous.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017