‘Most Sophisticated’ Cartel Smuggling Tunnel Found Under Arizona Border

Border Patrol and HSI agents discover the "most sophisticated" smuggling tunnel in U.S. history near San Luis, Arizona, in July 2020. (Photos: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
Photos: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Federal officials called a cartel-connected smuggling tunnel under the Arizona-Mexico border “the most sophisticated tunnel in U.S. history.” The 1,300-foot structure stretched from a neighborhood in San Luis, Mexico, to its destination in San Luis, Arizona. Officials detected the tunnel prior to its completion, officials said.

“This appears to be the most sophisticated tunnel in U.S. history, and certainly the most sophisticated I’ve seen in my career,” Carl E Landrum, acting chief patrol agent, Yuma Sector, said in a written statement provided to Breitbart Texas by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. “We will continue to work closely with our partners – Homeland Security Investigations and state and local agencies to provide the best national security possible.”

Border Patrol and HSI agents discover the "most sophisticated" smuggling tunnel in U.S. history near San Luis, Arizona, in July 2020. (Photo: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

Border Patrol and HSI agents discover the “most sophisticated” smuggling tunnel in U.S. history near San Luis, Arizona, in July 2020. (Photo: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

Border Patrol agents found a sinkhole in mid-July while patrolling between the primary and secondary fencing near San Luis. Homeland Security Investigation special agents responded to the area. Border Patrol and HSI agents began drilling operations and found pieces of wood and water hoses, officials stated.

Agents deployed a camera 25 feet into the ground where they observed a gap that confirmed the tunnel’s existence.

Officials brought in heavy equipment to excavate. This led to what officials called the “most sophisticated tunnel in U.S. history.” The 1,300-foot tunnel contained extensive reinforcement, a ventilation system, water lines, electrical wiring, and a rail system for moving drugs and/or human cargo through. The 25-foot deep tunnel measured three feet wide and four feet high.

The termination on the U.S. side had not yet been completed.

“Homeland Security Investigations and our esteemed law enforcement partners swiftly and effectively worked together to uncover and dismantle a cross-border tunnel for smuggling purposes into the United States,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix. “Despite the international pandemic, HSI and our law enforcement colleagues remain resilient and committed to pursue dangerous criminal trans-border smuggling activities along the southwest border.”

The investigation included HSI special agents, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents, the San Diego Sector Tunnel Task Force, CBP Office of Field Operations officers, Drug Enforcement Administration’s Yuma Resident Office agents, the San Luis, Arizona, Police Department, and Yuma County Sheriff’s Office investigators.

Breitbart Texas reached out to ICE and CBP officials for additional information regarding the tunnel operation. An immediate response was not available.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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