Friday, December 12, 2008

Tunnel found next to border fence in Nogales

Arizona Daily Star
December 12, 2008

U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered another tunnel in Nogales on Thursday afternoon.
At 1:15 p.m. Thursday, bike agents patrolling in downtown Nogales spotted a piece of foam sitting about one foot north of the border fence, west of the Dennis Deconcini Port of Entry, said Rob Daniels, Border Patrol Tucson Sector spokesman.

Under the foam, which was partially covered by dirt, agents discovered the exit of a tunnel. Agents sent a remote-controlled robot into the tunnel and determined that it went 15 feet east from the exit point into the Grand Avenue tunnel and south into Mexico. Mexican authorities determined it started in the same Grand Avenue tunnel in Mexico. The tunnel measured about 12-by-19 inches wide and was dug two feet below the surface, Daniels said. It was a rudimentary tunnel with no reinforcements or lights.

Officials welded a grate over the exit of the tunnel until a permanent filling can be done, he said.

It is the sixth tunnel discovered in fiscal year 2009, which started on Oct. 1. In fiscal year 2008, agents in the Tucson Sector found 14 illegal tunnels, more than any of the previous three years, agency figures show. Since the start of fiscal year 2003,40 tunnels have been found, the agency says.

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