Wednesday, December 17, 2008

3 more drug-smuggling tunnels found near Nogales

Tucson Citizen
December 16, 2008

U.S. Border Patrol agents and Nogales police found three smuggling tunnels along the U.S.-Mexico border in the past week.

The finds bring to six the number of tunnels found along the border this fiscal year, the agency said in a news statement.

From the beginning of fiscal year 2003 to the end of last fiscal year, law officers have uncovered 34 tunnels along the border, the Border Patrol said.

The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

The latest finds were:

• On Dec. 10, Border Patrol agents patrolling near the border found a tunnel about one foot from the fence separating the United States from Mexico.

• Friday, Nogales, Ariz. police officers patrolling near downtown Nogales found another tunnel east of the DeConcini Port of Entry, about eight feet north of the border, the Border Patrol statement said. Mexican law officers helped with the investigation and they found the entrance to the tunnel in Mexico, about two feet south of the international fence separating the U.S. and Mexico.

• Saturday, Nogales police officers, patrolling the border area in a federal anti-illegal immigration program found a tunnel west of the DeConcini Port of Entry along International Street. The tunnel's entrance is believed to be in Mexico in the Grand Tunnel area, said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Esmeralda Marroquin. The Grand Tunnel is a flood control culvert running under the border.

The smuggling tunnels are being guarded by Border patrol agents until their exits can be filled with cement, Marroquin said.

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