Mexican troops in Nogales, in the Northern Mexican state of Sonora, uncovered a drug-smuggling tunnel leading into the U.S., the latest of dozens of illicit passageways found under the border there in recent years, authorities said on Thursday (January 10).
Mexico's Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) said the 183 foot-long (56 meter) tunnel measured 3.2 feet wide (1 meter) wide by 4.9 feet tall (1.5 meters).
The passageway ran 24 feet (7.5 meters) below ground from the yard of a house in Nogales,Mexico, leading into the Arizona city of the same name. Nevertheless, the tunnel was still under construction and was only yards away from actually crossing the border.
Smugglers increasingly bore underground to reach U.S. border cities in Arizona and California from Mexico to beat beefed up security along the line.
The tunnel was the latest of dozens of illicit passageways found in the Nogales area in the past four years. Agents made no arrests, but found a weapon and unused bullets while securing the area.
Most of the Nogales-area tunnels branch off from a shared drainage system running beneath the streets of the two neighboring, cross-border cities.
Last year a similar tunnel was discovered in the same area.
In 2010, a tunnel was also found under the concrete channel of the Rio Grande River between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez in Mexico.