Last night, Homeland Security Investigations and Yuma Sector Border Patrol released a video of a secret drug smuggling tunnel underneath an Arizonan Kentucky Fried Chicken shop, which led under and up into a house in Mexico, across the southern border. The old KFC building’s underground tunnel in San Luis, Arizona, led across the border into San Luis Rio Colorado in Mexico, at an incredible 600ft long stretch of tunnel, which enabled a continuous and enormous amount of illegal drugs to easily pass through the border undetected.
The astonishing discovery was made last week by US authorities who arrested the owner of the disused KFC restaurant, Ivan Lopez during a traffic stop of the main suspect, after they had received intel in April about a KFC establishment which was used as a drug smuggling hub, 200 yards north of the Mexican border.
The US authorities had been investigating Lopez for over a month, and decided to swoop in as he was loading the back of is truck with methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl packages. The amount of drugs found in the back of the truck has been reported to have had an excess street value of over $3 million.
Ivan Lopez’s arrest led authorities to a search of his home and later the abandoned KFC building, where agents found a hidden tunnel that led to a house in Mexico, which was large enough for people to walk through.
Special Homeland Security Investigator, Scott Brown, told the Associated Press on Thursday that, “One of the things that tunnelling does tell us is that as we increase infrastructure, resources, patrol, that’s forcing them to go to more costly routes into the U.S.”
Scott Brown says that more and more drug cartels are increasing efforts into underground tunnels, which are both expensive and time-consuming to build, stating, “Tunnels are a time-consuming venture, but it has definitely increased since the border security measures have ramped up,”
The authorities do not know how long the tunnel had been in operation, but Lopez had been the owner of the property since April of 2018, and in court documents it’s revealed that Ivan Lopez was a well trusted Mexican cartel member that had been surveyed taking huge amounts of suspicious packages out of the building several times before his arrest on August 13th.
Ivan Lopez is now locked up in federal detention, as he’s considered a flight risk. His attorney Paul A. Ramos did not respond to a request for comment.
During search of Lopez’s truck, K-9 units discovered two containers containing 118kg (260lbs) of methamphetamine, six kilos of cocaine, 3 kilos of fentanyl and 21 kilos of heroin. This led to the discovery of the tunnel underneath the kitchen of the disused KFC restaurant.
The tunnel was 22ft deep, 5ft tall and 3ft wide, and led to a trap door underneath a bed in a home in San Luis Rio Colorado in Mexico. After drugs were transported via the tunnel, a rope was used to pull up the products into the United States, and then later transported out into the country by truck.
This isn’t the first time that a tunnel has been discovered running underneath the Mexican border into the US. In 2016, through Tijuana, Mexico and into San Diego, California, a 2,600ft tunnel was found, which was used to traffic large amounts of cocaine, marijuana, and other illegal drugs into the United States. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and US Border Patrol have been very busy as usual, as in July of this year, drug seizures have amounted to a total of 15kg of heroin, 24lbs of cocaine, 327kg of methamphetamine and 1,900kg of marijuana all across the southern border.
The use of underground tunnels to transport drugs into America has been a huge problem for decades already, which has created the need for the HSI tunnel task force to implement technology used for discovering underground passageways. Nearly 200 such tunnels have been discovered from Mexico to the United States since the year of 1990.
The war on preventing drugs entering America along the southern border remains a constant battle, with drugs making their way both above and underground.
Some liberals will say that this proves that there’s no need for a southern border wall to Mexico, since cartels will find a way to circumvent the wall, but what they don’t seem to realise is that all measures must be taken to secure the southern border, both above and below ground.
Story by The Narrator
Featured Photo Credit: AP