Agents Discover Second Drug Tunnel in Nogales, AZ
- 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
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