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BP discovers incomplete 50-foot border tunnel in Nogales

Border Patrol agents and Mexican law enforcement discovered an incomplete cross-border tunnel in Nogales, Ariz., on Monday during a routine sweep, authorities said. 

Approximately 50 feet in length, the narrow two-foot wide tunnel extended 44 feet into the United States just beneath a parking lot near the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry, said a spokesman with Tucson Sector Border Patrol. 

The discovery comes just weeks after U.S. military personnel installed concertina wire and metal plating along the bollard fence that separates the twin cities of Ambos Nogales as part of an effort to "harden" the border. 

The Pentagon estimated in November that the cost of deploying 5,600 troops from more than 60 different units as part of an effort once dubbed "Operation Faithful Patriot" to the border, including around 1,500 troops in Arizona, would cost around $72 million. 

The tunnel's entrance in Nogales, Son., was found underwater along the international waterway channel that runs below both cities, the spokesman said. 

Agents discovered digging tools and structural shoring inside the tunnel, which indicates the "excavation was still in progress and incomplete," he said. 

The agency will inspect and monitor the tunnel until it can be filled in with concrete, the spokesman said. 

"Tucson Sector Border Patrol continues to work closely with strategic partners in Mexico to detect tunnels under construction to prevent the movement of illegal contraband or persons across the border," he said. 

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Earlier this year, federal officials discovered a 900-foot long tunnel that ended beneath a defunct Kentucky Fried Chicken in San Luis, just south of Yuma, Ariz. 

This was one of the longest tunnels found in Arizona, just five feet shorter than the tunnel CBP officials found in 2015, near Naco, Ariz. That tunnel, which began beneath a shed in the border town, included hydraulic lift built into a cement shed. 

Overall, Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector alone have found 118 tunnels, including the most recent one in Nogales, which was discovered in March 2016 near the Morley Port of Entry,

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The inside of the 50-foot-long tunnel that Border Patrol agents and Mexican law enforcement found on Monday in the Nogales-area.


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