DEA Press Conference on drug tunnel
Doug Coleman, special agent in charge with the Arizona Drug Enforcement Agency, talks Thursday afternoon inside a warehouse in San Luis where a drug tunnel was found leading into San Luis, Rio Colorado, Mexico.
8:16AM BST 10 Jul 2012
Mexico's Ministry of National Defence announced the discovery of a drug-smuggling tunnel leading from Mexico into Arizona, the latest illicit passageway found under the border in recent years.
The tunnel, which was about 755 feet (230m) in length, ran from San Luis Rio Colorado, in the Mexican state of Sonora, to a yet-unopened business in San Luis, Arizona.
The tunnel was just over four feet (1.2m) tall and included electrical lights, ventilation and small carts used to push narcotics over the border.
It remains unclear which drug trafficking organisation was responsible for the tunnel's construction.
11:00AM GMT 17 Nov 2011
A "major cross-border drug tunnel" measuring around 400 yards in length and linking warehouses in an industrial park south of San Diego and the Mexican border city of Tijuana has been found by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
The tunnel was discovered under the floor of a warehouse. At the bottom of a 20-foot shaft was a passageway measuring about 5ft by 3ft feet with structural supports, electricity and ventilation. The clandestine passageway even had an icon of the Virgin Mary attached to the wall.
Mexican General Gilberto Landeros said that 778 drug packages were found inside the tunnel, which was operated by the powerful Sinaloa cartel, headed by Mexico's most wanted man, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman.
Mexico is in the grip of brutal drug cartel violence that has claimed more than 42,000 lives since President Felipe Calderon took office five years ago and sent the military to crush the powerful gangs.
Cartels have excavated scores of tunnels under the US-Mexico border in recent years in a bid to beat ramped-up security at ports of entry and the rugged spaces in between. Nearly all have links to cities on either side of Mexico's border with California and Arizona.
10:52AM GMT 01 Dec 2011
The 1,800-foot tunnel, which was uncovered on Tuesday linking warehouses on either side of the US-Mexico border, is equipped with a hydraulic lift, electric rail cars, lighting, ventilation, a staircase and wood floors.
The discovery also resulted in the seizures of 32 tons of marijuana, one of the largest drug busts in US history, according to Derek Benner, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge in San Diego.
"This is the most elaborate and sophisticated tunnel that has ever been discovered along the California-Mexico border," special agent Benner said.
"It is also the largest narcotics seizure, slightly over 32 tons of marijuana ever associated with a single tunnel investigation. All considered, a highly efficient mechanism to move narcotics in an underground environment."
"Fortunately, we are here to tell you today that the cartels' elaborate plans failed. We are able to shut this tunnel down as soon as it became operational," he added.