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Agents Discover Second Drug Tunnel in Nogales, AZ

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    Agents Discover Second Drug Tunnel By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN .c The Associated Press TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Federal agents have discovered a second tunnel that was
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2001
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      Agents Discover Second Drug Tunnel

      By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN
      .c The Associated Press


      TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Federal agents have discovered a second tunnel that was
      apparently used to smuggle drugs across the Mexican border.

      The 30-foot tunnel discovered Wednesday leads from a sewer system to a car
      wash in Nogales, Ariz., about a half-mile from the border. Another tunnel had
      been found Monday leading from a sewer to a home in the same town.

      Agents found the second tunnel while serving warrants in a drug investigation
      unrelated to the discovery of the first tunnel, said Jim Molesa, a Drug
      Enforcement Administration spokesman.

      The tunnel took the form of a 16-inch-wide pipe through which drugs were
      pushed, authorities said. Agents searching the pipe found about 350 pounds of
      marijuana, with a street value of about $300,000.

      Four people were arrested, but no names or charges were immediately released
      because the warrants and indictments were sealed.

      In all, authorities have found seven tunnels in Nogales since 1995. The
      discoveries highlight the scope of the drug-trafficking problem, Molesa said.

      ``They're out there, and we're looking for them,'' he said. ``There's so many
      out there you can stumble on them.''

      Agents from the DEA, the U.S. Customs Service and the Santa Cruz County Metro
      Task Force had been investigating a drug operation for five months when they
      uncovered the second tunnel.

      Molesa said drugs were brought from Mexico to the tunnel in Nogales through
      an underground sewage line. About 30 feet from the Los Amigos Car Wash, they
      were fed through the pipe. The pipe was too small to crawl through, unlike
      the 25-foot-long tunnel discovered Monday.

      Molesa said the people trafficking drugs at the car wash ``are basically
      independent entrepreneurs working for a variety of cartels.'' He said the
      drugs originated in Colombia and crossed through Mexico on their way to the
      United States.

      Authorities made no arrests in Monday's discovery but seized 198 cocaine
      bricks weighing 840 pounds. Customs officials said the stash was worth an
      estimated $6.5 million wholesale and two to three times as much in street
      prices.

      AP-NY-03-01-01 0650EST
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