US: Border tunnel appears to be 'most sophisticated'

Border agents unearth ‘most sophisticated smuggling tunnel in US history’ equipped with water, electricity and even a railway track

  • The smuggling tunnel ran from San Luis, Arizona, through to a Mexican town 
  • Tunnel had a ventilation system, water lines, electrical wiring and a rail system 
  •  This appears to be the most sophisticated tunnel in U.S. history, and certainly the most sophisticated I´ve seen in my career,’ said acting chief patrol agent

An incomplete tunnel found stretching from Arizona to Mexico appears to be ‘the most sophisticated tunnel in U.S. history,’ authorities said.

The tunnel intended for smuggling ran from San Luis, Arizona, to a Mexican neighborhood and had a ventilation system, water lines, electrical wiring, a rail system and extensive reinforcement, federal officials said Thursday.

‘This appears to be the most sophisticated tunnel in U.S. history, and certainly the most sophisticated I´ve seen in my career,’ said Carl E. Landrum, acting chief patrol agent with the Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector.

This photo provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows a section of an incomplete tunnel intended for smuggling, found stretching from Arizona to Mexico

This photo provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows a section of an incomplete tunnel intended for smuggling, found stretching from Arizona to Mexico

Homeland Security Investigations found the tunnel in late July. A camera was sent 25 feet underground after federal agents discovered a sinkhole in the area of a tunnel investigation, authorities said.

Photos show the tunnel measured 3ft wide and 4ft high, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release.

Border agents have found numerous cross-border tunnels this year. 

In March, a partially built tunnel was found in Arizona after officials were tipped off by contractors working on a border wall project west of the San Luis Port of Entry.   

The workers became suspicious when they came upon a collection of plywood and boards that had been left behind as they were removing soil from the area. 

In this undated photo provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, excavation work continues at a site of an incomplete tunnel intended for smuggling, found stretching from Arizona to Mexico. (Courtesy of ICE via AP)

In this undated photo provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, excavation work continues at a site of an incomplete tunnel intended for smuggling, found stretching from Arizona to Mexico

CBP said the unfinished tunnel measured at least eight to 12 feet, and went under the border fence into Mexico. 

In January, U.S. authorities  announced the discovery of the longest smuggling tunnel ever found on the Southwest border, stretching more than three-quarters of a mile from an industrial site in Tijuana, Mexico, to the San Diego area.

The tunnel featured an extensive rail cart system, forced air ventilation, high voltage electrical cables and panels, an elevator at the tunnel entrance and a drainage system.

While there were no arrests, no drugs found at the site and no confirmed exit point in the U.S., the length – more than 14 football fields – stunned authorities.

 

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