Feds shut down drug tunnel in southern Arizona
Reporter: Alexis Fernandez
Web Producer: Mekita Rivas
NOGALES, Ariz. (AP/KGUN9-TV) - Federal authorities say they've shut down a cross-border drug smuggling tunnel in southern Arizona and seized more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations officials say the tunnel was discovered Wednesday in Nogales and shut down with assistance from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
HSI agents were conducting surveillance in the area and saw a van in a parking lot about 200 yards east of the Morley Pedestrian Gate.
They say two men near the van attempted to flee on foot, but were arrested.
Authorities found 22 bundles of marijuana in the van and 29 bundles of marijuana inside the tunnel, weighing a total of 1,210 pounds.
"They're brazen with a certain degree of desperation, 1,200 pounds on a first crack at using tunnel, says they have pressure from their cartel boss to get that dope across and get it to market," said Eric Balliet, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge for ICE Homeland Security Investigations.
They say the crude, hand-dug tunnel is about 68 feet long and approximately 2 feet wide.
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