Mexican officials notified US Customs and Border Protection on December 30 that a four-foot section of a cross-border drug tunnel collapsed near the Nogales, Arizona port of entry. The tunnel was discovered in mid-November and efforts had not yet begun to fill the tunnel with concrete.
According to Nogales International, Mexican media reported the weight of a tourist bus waiting to enter the United States through the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry caused the roof of the tunnel to give way.
The incomplete tunnel measured 2 feet wide and 3 feet tall. It stretched 122 feet, but only about one foot extended into the United States. The intended destination of the tunnel appeared to be an underground water basin north of the border, CBP said in a Nov. 13 news release.
Over one hundred drug tunnels have been discovered along the southwest border, and most of them have been found in or near Nogales. They are generally used by Mexican drug cartels to move illegal drugs north into the U.S., and on occasion to bring guns and cash south into Mexico. The level of sophistication of these tunnels varies widely. Some are simply simply carved out of dirt and are barely big enough to fit one man, while some contain lighting, air conditioning, concrete walls, and rail systems.
A CBP spokesman said this particular border tunnel ran under the vehicle lanes leading to the port of entry, the spokesman said. The location of the tunnel might be considered unusual, as builders often want to keep the exit point of the tunnels away from busy areas and prying eyes. Drug tunnels located near the southeastern California ports of entry frequently open up in secluded parts of warehouses, and Arizona tunnels often open up in abandoned houses in more rural parts of the border.
Sylvia Longmire is a border security expert and Contributing Editor for Breitbart Texas. You can read more about cross-border issues in her latest book, Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer.