U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents found a smuggling tunnel along the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday that was described as the “most sophisticated tunnel in U.S. history.”
In July, agents found a sinkhole between border fences on the U.S.-Mexico border during an ongoing tunnel investigation, according to an Aug. 6 ICE news release. On July 27, Yuma Sector Border Patrol started drilling near the sinkhole. Water hoses and pieces of wood were found and a camera was put 25 feet underground.
“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,” Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix, said in the release. “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.”
Agents discovered the tunnel on Tuesday before it was completed and there wasn’t access from the surface level to the tunnel.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents found a smuggling tunnel from Arizona to San Luis, Mexico. Carl Landrum, acting chief patrol agent, said it was the “most sophisticated tunnel in US history.”
The tunnel crosses the border from San Luis, Arizona to San Luis Mexico and includes a “man-passable passageway” measuring three feet wide and four feet high, according to the release. It also has water lines, electrical wiring, a rail system, reinforcement and shoring, and a “fully developed ventilation system.”
“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, said in the release. “We will continue to work closely with our partners — Homeland Security Investigations and state and local agencies to provide the best national security possible.”
Agents discovered water lines, electrical wiring, a rail system, reinforcement and shoring, and a “fully developed ventilation system.”
Photos were released, showing a dark passageway, as well as the sinkhole site where crews started drilling.
In January, federal officials found “the longest illicit cross-border tunnel ever discovered along the Southwest border,” McClatchy News previously reported.
The That tunnel stretched 4,309 feet from Tijuana, Mexico to Southern California.