New smuggling tunnel found in Nogales; 4th located in a year
Border Patrol agents and Mexico's Federal Police discovered yet another tunnel running under the streets of Nogales on Wednesday, the fourth found in the area in under a year.
Extending about 20 feet into the United States, the tunnel was found during a routine, bi-national sweep on the drainage system that runs beneath Nogales, Ariz. and Nogales, Sonora, serving both cities, said a spokesman with the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector.
Like a tunnel that was found in late October, this tunnel was concealed in the floor of the existing water-drainage system, and officials found the tunnel's entrance covered with a pile of dirt and capped with a Styrofoam and concrete mixture, the spokesman said.
At its entrance, the tunnel was around 3 feet wide and over 4 feet tall, and was about 10 feet below street level.
In less than a year, officials have discovered four tunnels in a two-mile area of Nogales, including Wednesday's discovery, running beneath the city's streets and the 18-foot-high "bollard" walls that remain topped with concertina, or "razor wire" installed by National Guard troops in November.
In May, a similar sweep discovered an incomplete tunnel about 75 yards west of the Dennis DeConcini border crossing in downtown Nogales. Like this most recent tunnel, the tunnel found in May did not open into the U.S., but rested more than a dozen feet below a parking lot in Nogales, Ariz. That tunnel was about 17 feet long, and extended about 12 feet into the U.S.
And, in October, officials found a 29-foot long tunnel that was not-yet-complete.
And, last December, Border Patrol agents conducting a similar sweep found an incomplete 50-foot tunnel that extended about 44 feet into the United States just beneath the port's parking lot.
Also, a traffic lane at the DeConcini port was closed in March after a remediated tunnel collapsed, causing a minor disruption to traffic at the port.
Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials have discovered 124 tunnels in the sector since 1990, most of them in the Nogales area.
Authorities in Mexico and the U.S. will monitor and inspect the tunnel until it's properly secured and remediated with concrete filler, the spokesman said.