New tunnel discovered near downtown Nogales

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TUCSON - The following is a release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

Border Patrol Agents from the Nogales Border Patrol Station discovered a new clandestine tunnel near downtown Nogales. This adds to the staggering total of nine for the first three months of this fiscal year.

Agents discovered the tunnel last night during routine patrol operations.The tunnel was found concealed by clumps of grass, 50 yards north of the border and 100 yards northwest of the DeConcini Port of Entry. With the use of modern technology, agents were able to find the origin of the tunnel. In coordination with Mexican authorities, the origin of the tunnel was carved out of a storm drain in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

Between FY2003 and FY2008, 34 separate tunnels have been identified and filled within the Tucson Sector. In fiscal year 2008 the Border Patrol discovered 14 individual tunnels.

In response to effective border security efforts, smugglers are resorting to more sophisticated and dangerous methods to smuggle humans, drugs and other contraband.