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March 23, 2020Yuma, AZ, United StatesNarcotics

DHS law enforcement in Yuma discover cross-border tunnel

YUMA, Ariz. – On Monday morning, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and Yuma Sector Border Patrol responded to a report of a possible sinkhole or tunnel at the international border west of the San Luis Port of Entry.

Contractors working on the wall project had been moving soil in the area when they uncovered plywood and boards, which agents later determined to be possible tunnel shoring. After further excavation the incomplete tunnel measured approximately 8 to 12 feet below the surface of the ground at the location of the sink hole. This is the sixth tunnel discovered in the Yuma Sector area of responsibility.

HSI special agents in conjunction with Border Patrol agents began coordinating with the agency counterparts in Mexico to secure any possible entry locations. A cadre of Mexican military officials arrived and secured a similar sinkhole on the Mexican side of the fence, approximately 10-12 feet south of the original hole. Upon further excavation of the sinkhole on the Mexican side, military officials discovered an aluminum ladder approximately 6-8 feet in length within the hole which was promptly removed by the Mexican authorities at the tunnel entrance in San Luis, Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico.

Law enforcement on both sides of the fence will continue to monitor and inspect the tunnel. Investigations are ongoing. Additional details will be released as they become available.

DHS law enforcement officials welcome assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free or 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.