2 Cross-border drug tunnels found within 24-hour period

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Tunnels found during routine sweep

The following news release was sent by the U.S. Border Patrol:

NOGALES - Border Patrol agents assigned to the Nogales Station have identified two separate illicit tunnels within a 12 hour period.

Border Patrol agents assigned to the Nogales Station Bike Patrol were making a routine sweep of the drainage system known as the Grand Avenue Tunnel on Wednesday afternoon, when they located a man-made tunnel inside a drainage tube. The tube runs directly underneath Arroyo Boulevard at Oak Street in Nogales. Back inside the tubing, a section of the corrugated tube contains a man-made cutout of approximately 2' X 2'. At this time, 76 feet of tunnel has been identified by using a tunnel robot. The Nogales Station has welded a grate over the entry, until a permanent remediation has been completed.

In the second instance, another routine sweep of the Grand Avenue Tunnel later last night led to the discovery of a second illicit tunnel. Like the first, this tunnel was initiated by burrowing through corrugated tubing underneath downtown Nogales. At this time, the man-made tunnel has only been determined to be about 10 feet in length, and 2' X 2' with primitive shoring on each side.

The Border Patrol is working with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to investigate both tunnels. Between FY2003 and FY2008, 34 separate tunnels have been identified and filled within the Tucson Sector. This Fiscal Year, five have been discovered since October 1st; all in the Nogales Area.