In what appears to be the latest in a spate of illegal passageways found on the U.S.-Mexico border in recent days, border police in Nogales, Arizona, uncovered yet another drug smuggling tunnel.
The 319-foot long tunnel, discovered Monday, measured three feet wide by two feet tall, and ran for 100 feet into Mexico at a depth of about 20 feet, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.
The Border Patrol's Tucson sector said in a news release that the tunnel was chiseled through solid rock and was equipped with electricity, lighting and water pumps. It was held up by support beams and plywood shoring.
The Border police found 26 bundles of marijuana weighing more than 430 pounds while securing the tunnel. Authorities also arrested one suspect in Mexico, said Border Patrol agent Colleen Agle.
This was the third tunnel discovered under the porous U.S.-Mexico border in less than a week and the 21st illegal passageway found underneath the streets of Nogales in the past two years, Reuters reported.
Authorities in California announced last Wednesday that they had found an underground passageway, stretching 400 yards to an industrial park located south of San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico. Two men with more than 17 tons of marijuana were also arrested during the raid.
On the same day, authorities in Nogales discovered another smaller tunnel under the porch of a house that ran 70 feet from a drain in Nogales in Mexico.
According to Agle, the reason why Mexican smugglers are increasingly using tunnels is to avoid the improved border security in the city.
One of the things that (smugglers) are doing is exploiting the legitimate drainage system down here, and attempting to create illicit tunnels, Agle told Reuters.
As we have been putting more resources along the border in this area, we are really taking away a lot of the traditional avenues for smuggling contraband and illegal aliens.