A sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnel from a home in Mexico to an abandoned Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food restaurant in Arizona used to transit “a very significant quantity of hard narcotics” has been uncovered. The tunnel between San Luis, in Arizona, and San Luis Río Colorado, in Sonorais, is 7 meters below grund and was very well constructed. Police said the tunnel was big enough for people to walk through. The US-Mexico border above the tunnel is protected by two border fences. Police began trailing the owner of the building, Jesus Ivan Lopez Garcia, and arrested him this month after finding 239 packages of various drugs as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl in the back of his truck, a total value at over $1 million.
One tunnel entry
A functioning tunnel can cost cartels hundreds of thousands of dollars to build. The government believes Lopez is a well-trusted cartel member. HSI has a tunnel task force and the Customs and Border Protection agency has a tunnel detection and technology programme, all to tackle the nearly 200 cross-border tunnels that have been discovered since 1990. Lopez is being held in federal detention without bond because he is considered a flight risk, according to court documents. Authorities don’t know how long the tunnel had been used, but Lopez only bought the property in April.