The U.S. federal government has dismantled 26 drug-smuggling tunnels in this town on the border with Mexico over the past three years, the most recent of which was discovered this week.
Federal authorities on Wednesday found a cross-border tunnel that had just been completed on the Arizona side, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a press release.
Officers with a multi-agency tunnel task force were conducting surveillance in Nogales around noon when they observed a van that was parked approximately 200 yards from a pedestrian port of entry.
After noticing suspicious activity, they approached the vehicle and found that it was loaded with more than a score of marijuana bundles.
Two men near the van tried to escape on foot but were apprehended near the tunnel, which begins in the front yard of a home in Nogales, Mexico, runs under the international boundary and exits on an embankment at the south end of Nelson Ave. in Nogales, Arizona.
The passageway is approximately 68 feet long and has an average width of two feet.
A combined total of more than 50 bundles of marijuana weighing 1,210 pounds were found inside the van and the tunnel.
Investigators suspect the passageway was completed on the same day it was discovered. Authorities had dismantled another cross-border, drug-smuggling tunnel in the same location in March 2012. EFE