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900-foot smuggling tunnel found in San Luis

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900-foot smuggling tunnel found in San Luis

  • A wheelbarrow found inside a 'narcotunnel' that crossed under the U.S.-Mexico border before ending at an defunct Kentucky Fried Chicken.
    SEDNAA wheelbarrow found inside a 'narcotunnel' that crossed under the U.S.-Mexico border before ending at an defunct Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Federal officials are investigating a cross-border tunnel in San Luis, Ariz., after it was discovered last week by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

Approximately 900 feet long, the tunnel extends about 600 feet into the United States before ending at a closed Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in San Luis, south of Yuma. 

The tunnel begins in Mexico inside a building under construction just south of the international border, along one of the most heavily fortified sections of boundary fencing in the nation. 

San Luis, which is part of the Border Patrol's Yuma Sector, is marked by two and three layers of fencing, including a section that includes magnetic gates, and a "no-man's land" area that's been cleared of vegetation and is illuminated by portable flood lights at night. 

Images from Televisa News show a tunnel just wide enough for a wheelbarrow to pass through, and wood planks line walls carved out of the sediment. 

On Friday, Mexico's Secretary of National Defense released images of the tunnel and the building, showing a battered concrete building where a few floor tiles had been removed to uncover a small tunnel used to smuggle drugs into the United States, reported the Sun of Hermosillo. 

The property was owned by Tarapa Corp, a company that manages fast-food restaurants around Yuma, until this year when it was sold in May for $390,000, according to public records. 

In May, officials in Mexicali discovered a quarter-mile long tunnel equipped with rails, lights, and a ventilation system that crossed into the United States at a outlet mall in Calexico, Calif. 

The last time that officials found a tunnel in the Yuma area was in 2012, when investigators with the Drug Enforcement Agency found a tunnel that dropped more than 55 feet down before running between Mexico and a "nondescript" building in the United States. 

The tunnel found last week is only about 400 feet west from the endpoint of the tunnel found in 2012. 

The longest tunnel located in Arizona remains the 905-foot long tunnel found in 2015 beneath a shed in Naco, Ariz., south of Bisbee, which included a hydraulic lift built into a cement shaft. 

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