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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Mexico discovers drug tunnel under Arizona border used more than 6 months

    Drug tunnel used more than 6 months


    July 08, 2012 6:34 PM
    BY CESAR NEYOY - BAJO EL SOL



    Photo courtesy of Secretaria de la Defensa Nacional (SEDENA)
    A view of the main corridor of the drug tunnel found below San Luis on Saturday.
    Photo courtesy of Secretaria de la Defensa Nacional (SEDENA)




    Reporters and military personnel go down the staircase (left) leading to the 755-foot tunnel that leads to a commercial building on Archibald Street in San Luis, Ariz.


    One of the sections of the building may have been used as a work area (bottom left) during construction and operation of the tunnel found on commercial property, just half a block from the Mexican port of entry.


    SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Son. — A half-block from the Mexican port of entry and a few feet from the border is where authorities discovered a tunnel that crosses into a commercial facility in San Luis, Ariz.

    About 755 feet long and 60 feet deep, the tunnel would have been used for more than six months to smuggle drugs northbound and weapons and cash southbound, said Gen. Raul Guereca Valenzuela, head of the local military station, during a briefing with media representatives.

    Finding the tunnel was possible thanks to binational coordination between authorities. At this point of the investigation, no arrests have been made, he added.

    Inside a downtown commercial property named Ice Land on Morelos Street between Calles Obregon and Carlos G is where the tunnel was located. It was equipped with electricity and a ventilation system, and special vehicles allegedly used to transport the merchandise were found inside the building.

    The tunnel is 4.25 feet high and 1 meter wide. The sand removed during construction was stored in a room inside the property.

    At about 8 a.m. Saturday, military and police personnel sealed the surrounding area to enter the property.

    A truck with Baja California license plates was confiscated.

    According to the advertising on the building, the ice-selling business was about to open its doors.

    The property is guarded by military personnel while federal police continue their investigation.

    Last edited by Newmexican; 07-09-2012 at 08:40 AM.
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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Drug tunnel found in San Luis center

    July 07, 2012 9:18 PM

    CESAR NEYOY AND CHRIS MCDANIEL - BAJO EL SOL/YUMA SUN
    m6tr5w-m6tr0c0708sanluistunnel1web.jpg
    U.S. agents searched this commercial building in San Luis, Ariz., Saturday.

    Federal agents and Yuma County Sheriff's deputies reportedly discovered a clandestine smuggling tunnel between the United States and Mexico during a raid on a business in San Luis, Ariz., Saturday morning.

    Officials with the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is overseeing the case, declined to comment on the raid because the investigation is ongoing.

    There was no information about any arrests that had been made, if any contraband had been seized, or how long the alleged tunnel had been in operation as of press time Saturday. There was also no information about the size of the alleged tunnel or the sophistication of its design.

    The business in the United States that was raided at about 8 a.m. is at the corner of Urtuzuastegui and Archibald Street, across from Friendship Park, and just northwest of the San Luis Port of Entry.

    Mexican Army soldiers guarded the Mexican side of the alleged tunnel, located in a building near Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon Street and Alvaro Obregon Street just to the southwest of the port of entry, throughout the day.

    Leonor Godinez, owner of wholesale store La Mexicana, was surprised to see the law enforcement operation. Her business, located at 532 N. Archibald St., is in the same strip mall as the business in which the alleged tunnel was discovered in San Luis, Ariz.

    “I arrived at about 6 in the morning, and shortly later somebody told my employees to go inside because something was happening, and that there were many police officers,” she said. “Then I realized they were searching the place.”

    Godinez had been unaware of any strange activity at that location, she added.

    “I did not notice any activity indicating that something like a tunnel was being built. What I know is that the place was rented since March. I spoke with the person in charge sometimes, and he told me they were struggling to start the business because they had problems with the licenses.”

    Godinez mentioned that the person in charge of the property commented that the plan was to open a parcel delivery business.

    Lorena Macias, an employee of a shoe store near the site of the operation, was also unaware of any illegal activity at that location, including the construction of an alleged tunnel.

    “Maybe they have been doing it at night, because during the day the place was empty and always closed,” Macias said, noting she was also surprised by the raid.



    Read more: , tunnel, business, alleged - News - YumaSun
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