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October 23, 09

NEWS / Agents Uncover First Tunnel of Fiscal Year 2010 in Tucson Area

Tucson, Ariz. Ė U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Nogales Station discovered an intricate smuggling tunnel passing under the international border yesterday, the first such tunnel found in recent months.

The tunnel was discovered approximately 150 yards east of the DeConcini port of entry. On the Mexican side of the border it is supported with shoring and is three feet wide by three feet tall. As the tunnel passes under the border fence, into the United States, shoring stops and the opening reduces to a hole 18 inches wide by 18 inches tall. The total length of the tunnel is approximately 30 feet. The tunnel exit on the U.S. side was concealed with plywood and weeds.

ďIt has been nearly four months since the discovery of an intricate tunnel,Ē said John M. Fitzpatrick, division chief of operations for Tucson Sector. A more elaborate tunnel was discovered in June (fiscal year 2009). It was approximately 48 feet in length on the U.S. side and stretched another 35 feet under Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

This is the first tunnel discovered in the Tucson Sector for fiscal year 2010. The effectiveness of the Border Patrolís operational goal to deploy the proper mix of manpower, technology and infrastructure is making it difficult for smuggling organizations to make a profit. Tunnels such as this are clear indicators of the frustration and desperation of smuggling organizations attempting to profit from the smuggling of illegal aliens and narcotics.




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