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One arrested in incomplete smuggling tunnel beneath Nogales

Border Patrol agents discovered an incomplete cross-border tunnel earlier this month in Nogales, arresting one man and seizing nearly 235 pounds of marijuana.

Border Patrol agents noticed freshly disturbed dirt and rocks in a drainage tunnel approximately 100 yards west of the DeConcini Port of Entry on Aug. 7, according to a press release from the agency. 

A sweep around the water-filled tunnel included agents from the Nogales Station, working with the Nogales International Liaison Unit and Mexican law enforcement.

Nearly a rabbit hole, the tunnel extended 42 feet into the United States, measuring approximately 2.5 feet wide by 3 feet tall, and was equipped with electrical wiring and ventilation pipes. Agents discovered sugar sacks, used to carry dirt out of the tunnel, and several digging tools nearby. 

Nearly a week later, on Aug. 13, agents discovered a man attempting to smuggle 10 bundles of marijuana, worth an estimated $117,000, through the tunnel. 

Agents will continue to monitor tunnel activity and conduct daily inspections until the tunnel is sealed, the agency said.

This is the fourth tunnel discovered in 2014. Before this month, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 101 cross-border tunnels have been discovered beneath Nogales since 1990.

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Customs and Border Protection

Workers remove water from the water-filled tunnel that extended into Mexico from the United States.